This part of the website is about your experience of individual festivals – whether they were easy for you, fulfilling, hard work, or very difficult. The following questions arise:
- What would have made your experience easier?
- What could you have been told beforehand to make your experience more manageable?
- Did the organisers really try to take on board your needs and provide for them?
- Was there anyone on the festival site that was specifically there to be a disability liaison co-ordinator with the organisers, or were you just left to get on with it as best you could?
- What made the effort of going to a festival worthwhile for you?
- Any examples of good practise, where individuals or the festival has gone out of its way to make people with disabilities welcomed and comfortable?
Some might say that festival sites, being temporary and generally outdoors and often in fields, are intrinsically difficult places to adapt for people with disabilities. Our view is that with enough forethought, information, planning and creative thinking, most places should be able to be accessible to most people, whatever one’s mobility needs are. And that for the festival organisers, changes and adaptations need not cost a fortune.
Organisers should be honest in describing the festival site:
Hills, rough ground, farm tracks and distances between camping, venues and other attractions, so that people with disabilities have enough information before deciding to buy a ticket. We want to hear your experience of whichever festivals you have been to, and what would have made it easier for you – and of course we would like to hear about as many examples of “good practice” as possible.
There are some festivals really trying to improve and upgrade facilities… we definitely would like to hear about them.
Once we have your views and thoughts we will put them on this website, and we can start compiling information about various festivals. We want to do this in a supportive and positive way, to feed back to festivals your comments and encourage them to make the changes that you are asking for. We are not proposing to take on individual complaints, but will certainly take up collective issues where it is appropriate to.
We can also use this space as an information space about what various festivals are offering, what they say they are offering, what it says on their website, and what improvements year on year are being made. We also need to work with festivals to ensure that their legal obligations of “reasonable adjustments” are being made; and that their crews, stewards and staff understand this concept and abide by it.
We want to work with festivals to make your experience of visiting, working at, or performing at festivals as good as possible.
Any thoughts, suggestions, horror stories or praise please get in touch via the “Contact Us” page – and don’t forget to say which festival and which year you are referring to.