What does AAA mean in the UK?

I can’t believe I can’t find this on my own, but here I am…

A recent issue of Metal Hammer magazine had Iron Maiden on the cover and included the blurb “AAA at their most epic show ever”.

The most recent issue also contains a similar reference to “AAA”: “We also go AAA at Nightwish’s Bloodstock spectacular,”

For the album cover context I thought maybe it was some kind of emergency services thing, but Lemmy taught me that in the UK, 999 was what you dialed.

They don’t mean the American Automobile Association, so what the heck is AAA?

I’m guessing “Access All Areas”. As in, the magazine people had full access to all the backstage and tour stuff as well as the show.

Incidentally, the British version of AAA (the car one) is simply “AA” for obvious reasons.

“BAA” is something else entirely, usually referring either to the old British Airports Authority or to one very loud sheep.

I read the thread title and thought ‘a type of battery’.

That too, but a AAA-battery version of Iron Maiden would be rather sad.

That makes sense except that I wouldn’t say “we also go access all areas”; maybe it’s All Area Access?

But who the hell uses this acronym on a regular basis? I’m a stagehand ffs and that isn’t a term I’ve ever heard at a concert, political rally or any other kind of event.

Well, Metal Hammer appear to.


In my experience All Area Access, is called a Crew pass or a Crew laminate. Even if said laminate says, ALL AREA ACCESS on it.

I’ll have to clue them in that they sound like wankers; thanks for finding that.

Your reward is being able to watch cats destroy everything to Hatebreed’s Destroy Everything.

Whilst it might sound grammatically odd in some sentences, Access All Areas would be the British standard for the above. To the extent that I was once involved in the sponsorship of a Welsh Music festival which had fun with the concept in its name ‘Access All Eirias’. (Eirias was the name of the stadium venue).

Or like oversugared five-year-olds AAA WE’RE AT A CONCERT AAAAAAA

Back at you with AWOLNation and some serious ninja cat moves.