Festivals can be incredible experiences for people of any level of mobility. You might need to do a little extra preparation for the festival, but it will be well worth the effort. Accessibility is an essential thing for festivals, helping prove to attendees that everyone is welcome. Any major British festival will have specific camping for people with disabilities and a raised area by the stages for people to enjoy the show.
It might feel daunting to go to your first festival, braving the unpredictable British weather. Being prepared can be the best way to ensure you have an incredible and accessible time – no matter the weather. It is a good idea to research the festival you’re considering to find out what provisions they have in place for accessibility. Most major festivals will include this information prominently on their website and will be happy to help if you have any additional questions.
Get A Carer’s Ticket
If you qualify for a festival’s disability scheme, it is best to take advantage of the option to bring a carer along. A carer’s ticket is completely free when bought alongside your own ticket. You may need to provide evidence of your disability to access the disability provisions; often, things like proof of benefits or a Blue Badge are required. You should also check to find out if there are any restrictions placed on who your carer can be.
Plan How To Get There And Back
Getting to and from the festival is an often-overlooked part of festival prepping. As someone with mobility issues, you cannot afford to neglect this essential part of the planning process. If you’re using public transport, you’ll need to know how and where to access the shuttle buses that will take you to the festival itself. It may also help to pre-order a taxi for your trips, which can make getting to the festival doors much easier.
Choose A Quality Mobility Aid
Mobility aids can be invaluable during a festival, helping you navigate the often-muddy fields and uneven surfaces of the festival. You should look for a mobility aid that will serve you well no matter what the festival throws at it. A combination rollator and wheelchair can be the ideal choice for a festival, as it allows you greater control over the level of support it can provide. The Rollz Motion is an excellent choice, shifting effortlessly from rollator to wheelchair depending on your needs at the time.
Practising Putting Up Your Tent
Putting up a tent can be a challenge if doing it for the first time – it is best to practice the task so that you know what you’re doing on the day of the festival. This can be invaluable for if you end up putting the tent up in poor weather. Do a couple of practice runs so you know how to assemble and dissemble your tents when you arrive at the festival. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even practice putting your tent up in the rain!
Prepare For All Weather
We’ve all seen pictures of the rivers of mud that can appear when it rains at a festival – the images from 2005’s Glastonbury are legendary. It is vital that you pack clothes and equipment that will suit whatever weather you might experience. You should prepare for rain, even if the forecast looks clear, and bring plenty of waterproof clothes. It is best to wear layer-able clothes so that you can take layers off as needed and add extras on if the rain starts up.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time To Get To The Stages
Depending on the festival you’re visiting, you could be travelling miles each day to get to different stages. It is vital that you find ways to make this easier for yourself and ensure you have a plan to get to where you need to be. Consider making a list of all the bands you want to see and their locations. You can then make a plan of action to get from place to place with enough time to spare. It may help to use mobility schemes offered by the festival itself, such as buses and shuttles going from one part of the festival to another.
Attending a festival is entirely possible for people with limited mobility. It is crucial to do some preparation that will help you make the most of your time at the festival. A quality mobility aid is essential, as it will help you navigate the muddy fields of the festival with ease. You should be aware of the provisions in place for people with disabilities and ensure they are suitable for your own needs. If possible, bringing along a friend to act as your carer or PA can be beneficial, ensuring you’ll always have help if you need it.