Festivals: access all areas
Posted by: The personal injury help and advice team
Festival season is in full swing and, like us, we’re sure you’re eager to see as many gigs as you can this summer! However, it’s not always as easy as ‘buy a ticket, pack your bags and pitch up for the weekend’. For some, it can mean a heavily planned, structured event which can lead to stress and anxiety. So we wanted to help lift a little stress by giving you a guide to a few of the UK’s most accessible festivals.
British Summertime Festival (BST)
As with most festivals, BST offer a free Personal Assistant pass with every ticket (subject to availability), but with BST the PA pass is interchangeable, meaning you can swap the pass between as many different members in your group as you like.
BST offers a ‘quiet space’ located in the welfare tent, for people to use if they want to get away from the crowds. They’ve even lowered their counters at bars and food stalls to be more wheelchair user friendly!
BST has an accessible entrance gate and free-of-charge blue badge parking, along with accessible toilets and changing places with hoist facility and charging points for wheelchair users.
In 2013 BST were awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice, by Attitude is Everything*, a charity that improves deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. This is the first time a UK event has received the award in it’s first year.
2000trees are currently working towards Silver with Attitude is Everything, after achieving the Bronze level in 2013.
The 2:1 scheme is available, which is a free ticket for a personal assistant for any deaf or disabled person who would be unable to attend without their presence and who has bought their own ticket. There are also three viewing platforms available out of four stages and accessible camping sites, but currently no showers.
2000trees is one of the few festivals that allow assistance dogs on site, other features include a refrigerator for storing medicine, 24 hour charging points for wheelchairs and blue badge camping.
RiZE Festival (Formerly V Festival)
RiZE festival offers accessible camping with a high dependency unit, raised beds, hoists and allows two friends to camp with you. The downside is that the accessible toilet facilities around the festival aren’t locked which means all festival goers have access too!
This festival has showers and a fridge for medication storage, charging points for wheelchairs and of course, they also offer the 2:1 scheme.
RiZE are working closely with Attitude is Everything to improve their festival access and they provide a dedicated access map for help when navigating around the festival site. The map includes distances between stages and attractions, location of facilities among other useful information.
Leeds & Reading Festivals
Another festival working closely with Attitude is Everything is Leeds and Reading. They have accessible car parking available, a drop-off pass and offer a free PA ticket with every access customer ticket purchase.
Viewing platforms are available but with limited seating, so they allow festival-goers to bring their own fold up chairs. They have the usual accessible toilet, shower and camping facilities including a high dependency unit, raised beds and hoists, in addition to fridges to keep medication and electrical charging points for wheelchair users.
When planning a festival, it’s helpful to make a list of all your requirements and what you think you’ll need to take. Remember, you can always contact the festival ahead of time and clear up any concerns or queries you may have.
*Attitude is Everything support the music industry in understanding deaf and disabled people’s access requirements at music venues and festivals. They do this by building equality into the strategic process, using a Charter of Best Practice. The ethos of the Charter is that deaf and disabled people should be as independent as they want to be at live music events and over 100 venues and festivals have already signed up.
The information in this post was correct at the time of writing. Personal Truths is an independent resource of information and you should always check with the festival organisers or the website for any further help and information on accessibility.