Leadership / 02.16.22
Australia Is Behind on Accessibility at Music Festivals and Gigs and Fans With a Disability Are Missing Out
Australian Broadcasting Corp. News (02/13/22) Myers, Emma
Live events with limited accessibility for fans with disabilities are an endemic problem in Australia. Rock star Jimmy Barnes added that artists living with disabilities are also impeded, and he would love to see "a lot more consideration for all" when it comes to building the back and front of venues, specifically with "stairs and sight lines." Xena Greenwood, who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and often uses mobility aids, cited several times where she was unable to enter a venue, or had to pay triple the amount for tickets to shows as the only accessible seating area exists in the top tier ticket allocation. She also has been criticized as "entitled" and "whiny" for raising these issues. Andrew Thomas with Hireup said festivals and events have multiple options for becoming more inclusive. Suggestions include "having viewing platforms so that festival goers are part of the event and not tucked off to the side, accessible toilets, quiet zones, pathways if the event is held on uneven surface and to create a way to negotiate crowds, reduce strobe light usage, [and] have an Auslan interpreter." With the pandemic changing the way festivals operate, perhaps organizers will be more amenable to working with the disabled community to find a solution which benefits all. "I think [festival organizers] need to have someone with a disability or lived experience ... sitting on [the] board, decision-makers or events," said disabled fan Jacob Cremen-Darkin.
Read the full story from Australian Broadcasting Corp. News.
Tags: Accessibility , News , Leadership