I-drive Disability News Updates: Chase Park leads the way in fully accessible music festivals
Chase Park Music Festival, the UK’s largest outdoor event that offers full access to disabled people, is taking part this weekend (11 August) in Whickham.
So far 2,500 tickets have been dispensed for the free, one-day festival which aims to help break down barriers and stereotypes often associated with people with disabilities and to use music to get people from all walks of life together to enjoy the event.
The festival is a collaboration between North-East healthcare provider Whickham Villa LLP and charity the Percy Hedley Foundation. This year the event is also receiving support from the Arts Council England.
Headlining the event are psychedelic, six-piece Hyde and Beast, with the line-up also including other talent from the region such as Amy Holford, Athletes in Paris, Boy Jumps Ship, Cattle and Cane, Collectors Club, Let’s Buy Happiness, Tom Doughty and the Crookes.
At most music festivals, accessibility issues include problems getting to stage areas, especially when poor weather creates muddy conditions that make it difficult to use a wheelchair. At Chase Park special raised trackways are used to overcome these problems.
Festival organiser and Business Development Director at Whickham Villa LLP, Alistair McDonald, said: “Due to factors such as remote locations, expense and inaccessible facilities, many mainstream outdoor music festivals can often exclude people with disabilities.
“The whole idea behind Chase Park Music Festival is to be inclusive for everyone regardless of abilities.”
As well as music, this year’s event will include a second arena with a circus and DJ workshops, market stalls, a holistic therapy tent, craft stalls, face painting and an array of food & drink. It will also include games and an education centre where people can learn about disabilities.
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