Access All Areas

Accessibility is a huge issue for disabled people at music festivals and gigs. Things like viewing platforms, suitable accommodation or buying tickets are all important.

Being able to enjoy live events is a big part of independence for many disabled people. It’s important for festivals and music venues to ensure they’re accessible for everyone.

We wanted to look at how disabled people experience music festivals and concerts with Access All Areas. Our campaign aims to show the problems they face when seeing live music but also capture their positive experiences at venues that are fully accessible. We also supported the disability charity Attitude is Everything’s 2016 State of Access Report.

We sent two wheelchair users - Rosie and Charlotte - to some of the UK’s big summer festivals and gigs. We asked them to find out how venues can improve and give us the positive aspects of the live music experience for disabled people. They reported back on themes such as:

  • Website usability
  • Buying tickets
  • Transport
  • Accommodation.

The festivals and gigs that Rosie and Charlotte reported on were:

Our client, Rosie Mayes, was in a car crash that left her tetraplegic, with only limited 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. She went on to finish a History degree at the University of Sheffield. You can find out more about Rosie’s story by watching our video series or by following her on Twitter.

Rosie Mayes

We also asked Charlotte Fairbank, a paralegal working in our Bristol office, to report on her experience at music festivals. In 2007, she was left paraplegic after falling off a hay bale. But she remains extremely independent and began 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 has tweeted about her time at the festivals and you can follow her on Twitter.

Charlotte Fairbank

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