ACCESSING A SEAMLESS & INCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE
"[I used to take for granted] just being able to rock up, not worry about the accessibility, having a spot where I could see the actual show, not having to think about the bathrooms…" Jacob Cremen-Darkin, wheelchair user.
As enhancing the fan experience becomes an even greater spotlight for organizers and curators, this also translates into streamlining process and security. Outside of the experience of general layout and planning (nobody wants to get stuck in a traffic jam for hours or miss their fave song stuck in a queue for the loo), what is continuously gaining importance in festival experiences is how different individual and group needs are being supported. A big driver in the festival experience is knowing you’re going to be safe (something Astroworld tragically did not do).
It’s often more than just the music and camping; for many, festivals are about the communities they create and support. Afropunk in the US, is a weekend-long music-led experience that celebrates and elevates black culture, with a big focus on supporting the Black community through the arts and activism. Creating access to festivals is of growing importance for young people. Campaigns like ‘Just Ask’ are helping live promoters increase accessibility and encouraging them to book Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent. Celebration of diverse talent will be a bigger part of festivals into the future.