A leading national law firm which works with disabled people to help them regain their independence and get the most from life is preparing to brave the traditional British weather at music festivals and concerts across the UK this summer as it launches a campaign to assess the accessibility of such events. 

Irwin Mitchell’s Access All Areas initiative has been launched to review disability access to festivals and other major events up and down the country, examining all aspects of the experience for music fans who require specialist support to attend such events.

The campaign involves representatives from the law firm’s Serious Injury team joining clients in researching festival websites and the ticketing process, general on-site issues including access to viewing platforms and other amenities, as well as the support provided by the venue staff.

Irwin Mitchell, which has vast experience in helping those with serious disabilities regain their independence through access to vital services, will then collate all of the information to get a proper understanding of whether UK festivals and other music venues are really doing what they can to accommodate those with a disability.

John Davis, a Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Serious Injury team, said: “The festival season seems to get bigger every year, both in terms of the number of events being held across the UK but also the thousands of people flocking to fields to watch their favourite bands and embrace the communal spirit that comes with it.

“We’ve launched Access All Areas with one goal – to properly understand whether the events truly are as inclusive as they hope to be and are providing the right support so that disabled music fans are not missing out on the full festival or concert experience.

“While we hope this will highlight how so many events are properly catering for all needs, we’re also keen to discover what else can be done to better improve such events for everyone who is attending.”

Access All Areas will assess festivals and concerts on a range of issues, including:

  • Whether festival and venue websites are designed with accessibility in mind
  • The ticket booking process and information available support disabled visitors
  • General accessibility at the events, including viewing platforms, merchandise and other amenities
  • Staffing levels and their understanding of needs of disabled visitors
  • Transport to and from the venue, as well as any specialist parking support
  • On-site accommodation or advice on nearby hotels and facilities

As well as undertaking the survey, Irwin Mitchell is also lending a hand in the festival season by supporting to the fifth annual Chase Park Festival in Gateshead.

Taking place on August 8th this year with Irish punk-pop legends Ash set to headline, the family-friendly open-air festival specialises in providing access facilities for deaf and disabled audiences, artists and volunteers.

The festival has been awarded the Gold level of Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice due to its specialist support and inclusivity, making it only the third festival alongside Glastonbury and Liberty Festival to achieve the standard.

John Davis of Irwin Mitchell added: “Chase Park Festival really sets the standard in terms of accessibility and ensuring that the disabled community are able to see top live acts in a setting suited to their needs.

“We hope Access All Areas will lead to a better understanding of the current situation at other festivals and concerts and encourage those which are underperforming to improve their services.”