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Law Firm Sponsor Festival For All In Gateshead

Thousands Of Music And Art Fans Expected To Attend North East’s Biggest Outdoor Gig


By Suzanne Rutter

A leading Newcastle law firm is sponsoring a major outdoor music and arts event which aims to break down the barriers and stereotypes often faced by people with disabilities.

Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office is sponsoring the annual Chase Park Festival in Wickham, Gateshead, which will be hosted by healthcare and neuro-rehabilitation specialists The Keiro Group on Saturday, 10 August 2013.

The festival is designed to be accessible to music and art lovers with a range of disabilities who often find it difficult to attend mainstream events. It is also a great opportunity for emerging artists with disabilities to perform in front of thousands of people.

Sunderland-born post-punk band The Futureheads will headline this year’s event and new musicians on the bill include Big Beat Bronson, Symphonic Pictures and Evolution Engineering. Laura Smith, Natasha Hawes and Sam Fender will also be making solo appearances with performances accompanied by British Sign Language interpreters.

John Davis, the regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, said: “The Chase Park Festival is fast becoming a fantastic institution in the North East. It’s a great event catering for a broad range of people and one that we are delighted to sponsor.

“At Irwin Mitchell we see the devastating consequences serious injuries or disabilities can have on people’s lives but this event is a great, all-inclusive way for everyone to enjoy fantastic new music and entertainment whatever challenges they face.”

Clients from The Keiro Group, which is based in Wickham, are working alongside professional organisations to help organise, promote and take part in the event as part of their therapy and social programmes.

Festival-goers will also be able to enjoy entertainment from circus acts, DJ workshops, a holistic therapy tent, craft stalls, face painting and an array of locally sourced food and drink.

Alistair McDonald, business development director at Keiro, said: “It has been well documented that some festivals and the arts in general are having a tough time lately, especially in the North East, so to be a in a position to stage the fourth Chase Park Festival is incredible.

“Without the funding from sponsors like Irwin Mitchell, the line-up and the event wouldn’t be as fantastic as it is, so we are incredibly grateful.

“The event aims to be inclusive for everyone, regardless of their ability. Factors such as remote locations, high expense, access and poor facilities can often mean many mainstream outdoor music festivals can exclude people with disabilities. The Chase Park Festival uses music as a foundation to get people from all walks of life together to enjoy a fun-packed carnival atmosphere.

“It’s also incredibly rewarding for our clients to be actively involved in the whole process of producing the event, from helping to design and distribute promotional material to recording podcasts to showcase their festival experience.”

The open-air festival will take place on Saturday, 10 August in Chase Park, Whickham.  The gates will open at 11.30am and acts will begin performing at noon. Tickets are free to people with a disability and their carers or support workers but other tickets are priced £3, £5 for a family (two adults and up to four children) or a £10 ticket to help with the cost of running next year's event.

For more information about the Chase Park Festival visit www.keirogroup.co.uk/chase-park-festival.