After a British festival season hit by disabled access issues, live event accessibility charity Attitude is Everything (AIE) launched the #FestivalsWithoutBarriers campaign. By teaming up with live industry bodies, the organization aims to introduce three calls of action to make 200 music festivals more accessible in 2023.
AIE will lead the change by working with the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), and the British Arts Festival Association (BAFA).
Together, these festival associations represent more than 200 music events that gather more than one million ticket buyers every year.
The list includes some of the UK’s most lusted-after festivals, such as Boardmasters, Boomtown Fair, End of the Road, and Cambridge Folk Festival.
Under the banner #FestivalsWithoutBarriers, all member events received three principles that should be followed to improve festival experiences for disabled individuals and increase attendance.
Those calls to action will see live music events integrate eligibility questions into the artist bookings process and provide full information about the event’s accessibility when tickets go on sale.
Member festivals will also be in charge of transforming the event’s workplaces and volunteering into accessible opportunities for disabled audiences.
AIE said it would help the associations’ membership to implement these practices via its two publications – Access Starts Online and Accessible Employment Guide. Along with the written guides, the organization will also provide training schemes on inclusive artist booking and accessible volunteering.
On the announcement of the inclusivity campaign, AIE’s founder Suzanne Bull MBE said it will be a “powerful force in transforming the industry.”
“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.”