Disabled festival-goers who braved the rain and mud to be at the 2014 Glastonbury Music Festival have praised the event organisers for the facilities provided for the disabled and those with hearing impairments.
Glastonbury has been working for the last few years to improve its accessibility for those with disabilities, and it’s clear that it is having the right effect.
Attitude is Everything is a charity which campaigns for better access to live music for disabled and deaf people. This year the charity awarded Glastonbury Gold status for the access, facilities and services it now provides for disabled and hearing impaired festival-goers.
Many of the stages have special raised viewing areas where disabled people and their assistants can get a better view of the performances. A separate campsite, the Spring Ground, is available for disabled visitors to use. Facilities provided include wheelchair accessible toilets and showers and a minibus to take disabled visitors to other parts of the festival complex.
Wheelchairs are available for hire, and there are additional volunteers on hand to help. There are a number of spaces provided for campervans or caravans for people who would be unable to camp in a tent, and power can be provided if it is essential for medical reasons.
Making Glastonbury accessible to all Disabled Festival Goers Other music festivals are also recognising the need to cater for disabled music lovers who wish to attend. At many festivals disabled visitors can apply for a two for one ticket which allows a personal assistant to the disabled person to attend at no extra cost. V Festival, Glastonbury, Leeds, Reading and T in the Park are among the festivals which operate this scheme, helping to address one of the barriers to some disabled people attending festivals, namely cost.
Most festivals have viewing platforms at some of their stages, and Reading has disabled viewing areas at all stages. It is worth noting that at many festivals some of the viewing platforms are not under cover, so either sun cream or an umbrella may be required, depending on the weather. Other facilities widely available include disabled car parking, fridges where medication can be kept, and charging points for wheelchair batteries.
If you’re planning to attend a music festival and have disabilities, you can check out all the facilities provided by visiting the festival website. Some services need to be booked in advance, and have limited numbers of spaces, for example in dedicated camping fields, so plan ahead and make sure you don’t miss out. They may not be perfect yet, but most festivals are gradually becoming more accessible for disabled music fans. For advice on preparing to go to a music festival see the NHS website or Attitude is Everything .