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Festival’s accessibility meets the gold standard

Festival News
12 February 2018
Paul Hawkins and Melvin Benn

FESTIVAL REPUBLIC, the organisers of the 90,000-capacity Reading Festival, has been awarded Gold status for accessibility under the charter of best practice launched by disabled access charity Attitude is Everything (AIE).

The highest award given by AIE, it recognises the event’s long-term commitment to inclusivity and access innovation.

Having worked with AIE since 2005, the festival has introduced a range of facilities to ensure deaf and disabled people can enjoy the event, including viewing platforms at each stage, dedicated check-in for disabled fans, sign language interpretation of performances and fully stewarded accessible campsites.

In the last three years, the number of disabled customers at Reading has risen 91 per cent, with 567 attending across day and weekend tickets this year.

“I attended my first Reading Festival in 1987 for a day,” says AIE CEO Suzanne Bull MBE. “Back then, hardly any disabled fans attended music festivals and facilities were practically non-existent, which makes this award of great personal satisfaction.

“The festival today could not be more welcoming or inclusive.”

Melvin Benn, MD of Festival Republic, a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, adds, “In an industry as diverse as music and festivals, we should be doing everything in our power to make our events as accessible as possible for everyone.”

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