Leicester Festival Wins Award for Improving Accessibility and Inclusivity

The team behind the UK’s first-ever Festival of Sanctuary, Journeys Festival International – which has been hosted in Leicester since 2013 – has been awarded the silver level of Attitude is Everything’s Live Events Access Charter for 2024-2026, demonstrating the commitment to improve the experience for its D/deaf and disabled audiences, artists and team.

Art Reach, the local arts charity and cultural development consultancy who deliver the festival alongside Re/action Festival and Light Up Leicester, consistently strive to make Journeys Festival International as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Celebrating different journeys together and exploring migration, Journeys Festival International brings stories of communities and the world around us to the forefront of its festival activities. Removing barriers is an important part of the festivals aims, whether culturally, physically or financially. The festival has worked to improve its accessibility for everyone and was first accredited the Attitude is Everything Bronze Charter Status in 2022.

Attitude is Everything is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, which aims to change the industry standard for the better by implementing a Live Events Access Charter across the UK to improve access for deaf and disabled people in partnership with audiences, artists and the cultural sector.

Art Reach’s Creative Director, Paul Steele, said: “With Journeys Festival International going into its twelfth year in 2024, we’re excited to have been awarded the silver level of Attitude is Everything’s Live Events Access Charter, recognising our commitment to accessibility and making the festival experience enjoyable for all of our audiences, artists and staff.”

Since joining the Attitude is Everything Charter process in 2022, Journeys Festival International has been keen to improve accessibility in all areas of work to create a better festival experience. This includes offering digital tools and access information on the website, accessible versions of the festival brochure, programming companies and artists that champion accessible performances, having a dedicated Access Officer and being integral part of All In Leicester to improve access in the city’s cultural venues.

Bill Haley from All In Leicester, added: “With Journeys Festival International having been the first festival we visited as part of our All In accessibility audit tours, we’re thrilled to learn about the silver award, recognising all the provisions Art Reach already put in place in order to make the festival more accessible. What a great achievement!”

Over the next few years, Art Reach aims to consistently improve its offer and make accessibility a core focus for all of its festivals, reaching the next levels of the charter so audiences can rely on consistent access provision at all their festival activities.

Look out for more information on Journeys Festival International 2024, which will be released soon: https://artreach.org.uk/journeysfestival/

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