Accessibility is a huge issue for disabled people when going to music festivals and concerts, whether it involves viewing platforms, suitable accommodation or buying tickets. The ability to enjoy live events is a key condition of independence for many disabled people, so it’s incredibly important for festivals to ensure they’re as accessible as they should be.
This is why we’re looking at the experience of disabled people at music festivals and concerts with Access All Areas, our campaign to highlight the problems they face when seeing live music, as well as their positive experiences at those venues that are fully disabled accessible. We also support disability charity Attitude is Everything’s 2016 State of Access Report.
We sent two wheelchair users - Rosie and Charlotte - to some of the big summer festivals and gigs to find out what improvements can be made, as well as the positive aspects of the festival and live music experience for disabled people. They reported back on themes including:
- Website usability
- Access to tickets
The festivals and concerts that Rosie and Charlotte reported on are:
A client of Irwin Mitchell, six years ago Rosie Mayes was involved in a car crash that left her tetraplegic, with only a limited amount of movement in her right arm. She spent 10 days in intensive care and was in hospital for a further 10 months, recovering from severe spinal injuries.
With the help of a comprehensive rehabilitation package, she made a remarkable recovery and has now finished a History degree at the University of Sheffield. You can find out more about music fanatic Rosie’s story by watching our video series or by following her on Twitter.
We also asked Charlotte Fairbank, a paralegal working in our Bristol office, to report on her experience of music festivals. In 2007, she was left paraplegic after falling off a hay bale. But she remains extremely independent, beginning a four year university course in 2010 which included a year in Italy. She’s now very active, playing tennis and swimming once a week. Like Rosie, Charlotte will be tweeting about her time at the festivals and you can follow her on Twitter.