It’s summer, and festival season is full swing! There are many festivals that you can choose to attend, that will not only accommodate your creative and artistic tastes, but also have accessibility access.
It can be daunting trying to look for a festival that is ‘accessible friendly’ if you have mobility issues, but we’ve tracked down the festivals that provide easy access facilities, so you can have an amazing festival experience!
26–29 July, Charlton Park, Wiltshire
Launched in 1982, this festival celebrates all things music, art and dance. WOMAD is the festival that serves all palettes and tastes, and not one to be missed.
The festival experiments with sounds and style as it brightly colours the festival ground with activities that everyone can get involved with. Accessibility wise, WOMAD is brilliant in considering the various mobility needs and requirements that attendees may have.
Carers are admitted free to the festival, so there’s no need to worry about any extra costs.
If you struggle with poor eyesight, large print information and braille timetables are available to use at the Customer Care Centre. There are also a number of British Sign Language interpreters at selected larger performances. They are available free of charge, all you need to do is book ahead of a workshop you’d like to attend, but stage signings are only available on a first come first serve basis.
Additionally, there is also a disabled camping area, but spaces are limited. Disabled toilets and showers are available throughout the festival arena, in the disabled camping area, and at festival medical services.
If you require medicine that needs to be stored in cool conditions, the festival medical services will be able to store your medicine in a fridge, so you don’t need to worry about storage on the day.
Wheelchair battery re-charging is available at the disabled camping area. Electric scooter/manual wheelchair hire is also available before and the festival.
Finally, there are viewing platforms located at the front of all the main stages for wheelchair users and people with disabilities, so you guarantee you’ll be immersed in all the top performances.
The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
2–4 August, Belladrum, Beauly, Inverness
This festival won the UK’s Most Popular Summer Festival in 2016 and has been successful for 14 years. With a wristband, you are able to enter the many disabled viewing areas that are situated across the festival, so you have a clear view of the action.
If you are disabled, Belladrum Tartan Heart requires you purchase a ticket for the event, but once registered you will be able to apply for free carers pass.
You will also be able to receive an orange parking pass. This grants you and your carer access to the disabled camping area, where cars may be parked alongside tents.
If you’re considering attending this event, this year’s theme is Bollywood!
The Edinburgh Fringe
3–27 August, Edinburgh, Scotland
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Edinburgh Fringe festival is widely known, and famous, for delivering the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.
It bursts with the promise of delivering enthused spoken word artists, dancers, musicians, and everything in between.
Their website states that “We are committed to ensuring that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is as inclusive as possible” and processes are put in place to ensure everyone can make the most out of the festival and enjoy an amazing day out!
The Edinburgh Fringe also provides several sensory backpacks which are available to borrow for free for children and adults on the autism spectrum.
24–26 August, Bramham Park, Leeds
Leeds festival has since lined up some amazing musicians just before the millennium hit in 1999. Running for three days, you can catch headlining acts such as The Kooks, Kendrick Lamar, and Kinds of Leon.
They have partnered with the charity “Attitude is everything” who are working to improve festival access for those less able, or those with hearing difficulties so everyone can fully enjoy the live music.
The festival has wheelchair accessible viewing platforms, so you can get a great view of the stages, and your favourite acts. There are also accessible toilet facilities, accessible camping options, and you require a personal assistant there is no additional charge.
The large festival crowds and the uncertainty of mobility facilities at festivals can be quite stressful. But by checking out the festival websites or calling the customer service teams you’ll be able to find out all the information you need ahead of the day, for your peace of mind. Festivals are a great opportunity to catch a bunch of your favourite musicians in one place, so plan ahead and have an amazing time!