Hello, hello! A couple of Fridays ago, Dad and I went out like normal people. It’s rare for us to leave the house on Fridays and Saturdays, let alone venture into Dallas, but we did it. We went to a concert at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Fair Park. Heart was playing along with Joan Jett and Elle King. I haven’t been to this venue in years (since Edgefest stopped being held there), so I was hoping it had improved some. It hasn’t. So, I thought I’d share our experience with you all.
First and foremost, the concert itself was wonderful. I didn’t know Elle King and didn’t really care one way or the other for her set, which is normal for me and opening bands. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were pretty good. Not my favorite kind of music, but I knew more songs than I expected to know. Heart was impressive. I knew four of their songs and most of the covers they did. It’s incredible to realize that Ann is 69 and Nancy is 65 and they’re still putting on such wonderful shows. Not to mention they can still do a mean Led Zeppelin cover.
Now, onto the venue itself. It’s nice enough if you’re not a wheelchair user. But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to point out that the website is mostly useless. They take forever to post the gate times, then refuse to give you an actual time for when the parking lots open. Sure, they give an estimate, but I don’t want to show up early only to discover the lots aren’t opened yet. I even Facebook messaged them and couldn’t get a straight answer. So, your best guess is as good as theirs if you have questions.
Then, there’s the fiasco that is the parking lots. They make out like they have plenty of handicap parking (and they do), but they block the spots off with cones so you have to have someone move the cone, plus they actually tell people to park in the loading zones. What good is a handicap parking space if I have no loading zone to unload in? What the actual hell, people? Use your brains. And that’s not even the worst. The parking lot attendants don’t know their asses from their elbows. We went in Gate 11 (like the Facebook messenger person said to) and asked the attendants for help (again, like we were told to do). Instead of getting out of their chairs and actually helping us, they pointed vaguely toward a row without handicap spaces that turned out to be a dead end, so turning around was a joke. Thank god for the T-Mobile booth guy. He’s the only one who actually helped us in the parking lot by finding us a space and telling us how to get there, then moving the cone for us. Everyone but him were useless as teats on a bull.
Inside, it was much easier to navigate and the staff was much more friendly and helpful. My only real complaint is that there is a noticeable lack of wheelchair friendly seating. We get one row each at the back of sections 100 and 102, plus a couple of small areas in the lawn seats. Nothing with a straight on view of the stage, which is ridiculous. We never get seating any closer than this (an issue at every large venue I’ve been to), but to be pushed off to the sides with no direct line of sight options? It’s kind of insulting. Just because I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I don’t want good seats. Either stop charging ridiculous prices for less than optimal seats or start offering wheelchair users better seating options. Easy peasy.
Like I said, Dos Equis Pavilion is a decent venue if you’re not confined to a wheelchair, but unless one of my favorite bands come through, I’m not planning a trip back any time soon. Better training for the parking lot staff would go a long way towards making this a decent venue for everyone. And better seating options for cripples in wheelchairs would make it a great venue. As it is, I’d rather go back to the Toyota Music Factory than here.