Accessibility Series – When Accessibility is Music to our Ears

A host of outdoor music festivals now cater to people living with all sorts of disabilities. If you love your music, here are some events to check out!

You can’t stop the music – but sometimes a lack of access can stop us getting to the music, especially if it is outdoors. Thankfully a host of music festivals now cater to people living with all sorts of disabilities. If you love your music, here are some events to check out.

Ability Fest

Easily the top of the list is this one-day music festival designed for people (age 18+) living with disability.

Ability Fest aims to promote diversity and inclusion and raise money to empower young people with disabilities to achieve their ambitions.

It was launched by the Dylan Alcott Foundation and the Untitled Group. Wheelchair sports star and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott is a big music fan who has even been known to crowd surf in his wheelchair.

The festival features specifically designed infrastructure for all levels of ability – including elevated viewing platforms and accessible pathways, ramps, and bathroom facilities – plus Auslan translators on stage, quiet zones for sensory sensitive patrons, support dog accessibility and free tickets for carers. All event staff are provided with disability inclusion training.

The 2021 event at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens featured high-profile artists Alex The Astronaut, Ebony Boadu, Inkrewsive and Peking Duk who all donated their time – along with the venue and organisers – to raise $400,000.

Another festival is planned for Melbourne in 2023. 

Check out Ability Fest’s Website.  

Falls Festival

The annual Falls Music Festival is held in various locations around New Year and caters to people living with a disability. It recognises Companion Cards and provides disability amenities along with accessible parking and wheelchair access in some parts of the venue. Specific access arrangements can be made with organisers.

Falls Festival will be held in Melbourne on December 29, 30 and 31; in Byron Bay on December 31 and January 1 and 2; and in Fremantle on January 7 and 8.

It features headline acts including Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Chvrches, Ocean Alley, Spacey Jane, G Flip, Pink Pantheress and Amyl And The Sniffers. 

Learn more at Falls Festival’s Website.

Tamworth Country Music Festival

A regular fixture on the calendar for any country music fan, TCMF is running from January 13 to 22, 2023 with plenty of access for people living with a disability.

The event features an accessibility map on its main program, with disability transport and parking facilities and accessible toilets throughout the Festival precinct.

Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre, Tamworth Town Hall and Capitol Theatre have designated accessible viewing areas for patrons, while Toyota Park main stage features two large screens.

Find out all information on CMF’s website

Mitchell Creek Rock ‘N’ Blues Festival

Over three days from 15-17 September 2023, this blues festival features more than 120 artists on a private property at Mary Valley in the Noosa Hinterland.

It is a disability friendly event with designated access and viewing areas in performance venues, along with camping areas with disability access hot showers and toilet facilities.

All you need to know can be discovered on there website.

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