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UK Festival Awards puts more focus on festival accessibility

By | Published on Monday 18 July 2011

UK Festival Awards

The UK Festival Awards has thrown its support behind the Attitude Is Everything campaign, which aims to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music events. They have included disabled access in the criteria used by judges assessing this year’s music festivals, and have teamed up with Festival Republic to offer the winner of the best grass roots fest award a Ł1000 grant to enable them to improve accessibility.

Confirming his company’s support of Attitude Is Everything’s work via the UK Festival Awards, Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn told CMU: “At Festival Republic events we want everyone to be able to participate, feel safe, and be part of the crowd and we work closely with Attitude Is Everything to achieve this. I am very pleased to be funding the first access training bursary to the future winners of the Grassroots Festival Award so they will be able to benefit from this invaluable support”.

Meanwhile UK Festival Awards chief James Drury told CMU: “Grassroots festivals are real labours of love created on very tight budgets, so the chance to get vital advice and training from the experts at Attitude Is Everything, thanks to the generosity of Festival Republic, will be really valuable for the winner of our Grassroots Festival Award. Access for deaf and disabled people is an important criterion that our judges look out for when visiting festivals. I feel proud that Attitude Is Everything chose our Awards to distribute this bursary”.

The partnership with the UK Festival Awards follows another big achievement for Attitude Is Everything this festival season. Through a partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets, all of this summer’s events in East London’s Victoria Park have adhered to Attitude Is Everything’s Charter Of Best Practice, to ensure the accessibility of their festivals.

Attitude Is Everything chief Suzanne Bull told CMU: “The fact that the UK Festival Awards has included access as a criteria this year is a major breakthrough in making sure that the music industry continues to meet the requirements of their deaf and disabled customers, as well as raising the general public’s awareness of the issues that deaf and disabled people face at music festivals across the UK. I’m delighted that, thanks to the foresight and the generosity of Melvin Benn at Festival Republic, we are able to offer one of our training bursaries to a new, small festival. It means that this festival with have the opportunity to sign to our Charter Of Best Practice and have all the support it needs to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to its festival”.