Disabled access at UK Festivals

Last updated on September 27th, 2019 at 11:33 am

The sun is shining and the days are getting longer which tells us Summer is pretty much under way, and that means so is the festival season! Every year the UK becomes a hub of live music, theatre and comedy with nests of fun loving fans from far and wide setting up camp and forgetting their troubles, ready for a long weekend in the countryside. 

Here at The Ramp People we are heavily involved in most aspects of these events – from cable protectors for the wires and electric cables back stage, to the modular access ramps for wheelchair users; our clients range in size and so do their requirements.  

But how involved in disabled access and facilities are the events companies? The charity Attitude is Everything released a State of Access report last year with some mystery shopper statistics stating there had been a drastic 111% rise in disabled festival goers at Reading Festival, so we’ve listed 4 of the most well known festivals and what disabled access to expect when you attend.

Isle of Wight – 13-16th June
Line Up: The Black Keys, Fleetwood Mac, The Prodigy

Accessibility: There is a designated disabled campsite that has parking nearby with accessible loos and showers. The site is generally flat and easy to get around but be aware of weather changes. Unfortunately the main website says that you should call Ticketmaster to order a Disabled Access ticket and book one for a carer (if needed) – 95% of mystery shoppers experienced issues with these facility in the State of Access report. More information here.

isle of wight disabled access

Download – 12-14th June
Line Up: Slipknot, Muse, Kiss, Faith No More

Accessibility: Download takes place in Donington Park near the Donington Race Track. It is a Greenfield site with hill sections meaning that access could change depending on weather. There is a disabled campsite available with special tracks and modular ramps to make getting around easier – and you can park next to your tent! Download also provides plenty of lockers for storing small valuables or/and medication.  There is also a viewing platform opposite the main stage for disabled viewers. More information here. 

download festival disabled

Glastonbury – 24- 28th June
Line Up:  Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Lionel Richie

Accessibility: One of the biggest if not the biggest festival in the UK – and due to this fact they have laid down metal tracks and wheelchair ramps to improve mobility. Glastonbury is notorious for bad weather so make sure you keep an eye on the forecast as this will increase the difficulty of getting around. They do have a disabled campsite and even include stewards on a 24/7 rota if you need assistance. There are wheelchair accessible showers and toilets throughout the campsite and main area and a viewing platform if you have booked it previously. More information here. 

glastonbury festival

Reading & Leeds – 23-25th August
Line Up: Mumford and Sons, Metallica, The Libertines

Generally quite a flat field but is very grassy so there are metal walk ways and threshold ramps to assist disabled access. There is a disabled campsite and viewing platforms for all the stages – just make sure you have a disabled access ticket. There are disabled loos all over the site and you can be accompanied by a carer. 

reading download festival

Attitude is Everything have a great infographic for their State of Access report 2014 which we have included below;

state of access report

Main title image credit: http://hippyhenna.com/author/coocoo84/

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