Music festivals are notorious for being inaccessible.
People with disabilities working in the music industry have overwhelmingly chose not to disclose their non-visible conditions to their employers for a number of reasons. Event accessibility organization Attitude is Everything (AIE) is working to expel this stigma by partnering with music festival associations to ensure there are more practical measures embedded into their booking and operational processes.
As part of a campaign called #FestivalsWithoutBarriers, AIE has reportedly started working with the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the Association of Festival Organizers (AFO) and the British Arts Festival Association (BAFA). These organizations' employees and members are working on measures to establish a better ecosystem at music festivals for those in need.
AIF, AFO and BAFA represent more than 200 events, which attract more than 1 million ticket-buyers every year. These include End of the Road, Boomtown Fair and Boardmasters, among others.
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The campaign calls for three actions to foster a more accessible 2023 festival season:
- Plan to provide quality access information to disabled audiences at the point of tickets going on sale by implementing Attitude is Everything’s Access Starts Online guidance
- Integrate questions about access requirements into the artist booking process
- Implement practical changes to make festival workplaces and festival volunteering accessible to disabled people
The news of AIE's partnership follows a number of troubling reports detailing accessibility issues at some festivals in the U.K. over the summer.
"The experiences of disabled people over the 2022 festival season appear to have been quite mixed, especially when it comes to availability of pre-event information, booking accessible tickets and the level of access onsite," said Suzanne Bull, AIE's founder, in a statement. "Working together we will drive through the change necessary to improve access for disabled audiences, artists, employees and volunteers. As a disabled person, I'm looking forward to a stress-free festival season in 2023."
Find out more about Attitude is Everything here.