Just So Festival has been awarded the Gold award on Attitude Is Everything's (AIE) Charter of Best Practice.
Allocated by the live music accessibility charity, the award marks Just So's status as one of the UK’s most accessible events for deaf and disabled people, placing the festival alongside other Gold recipients Glastonbury, Greenbelt and Liberty Festival.
“Since first encountering AIE four years ago, their guidance and advice has really helped us to think differently about what our deaf and disabled audiences need," said Just So festival director Sarah Bird. "From the outset they encouraged us to think of access as a conversation with our audience and it’s turned out to be a really inspiring and exciting conversation to have started.
"We look forward to continuing to work with them to help shape a more holistic approach to accessibility across all areas of Just So Festival.”
The 5,000-capacity family festival, which will take place this year from August 18-20 at Rode Hall in Cheshire, had previously passed through Bronze and Silver levels, and was awarded the Outstanding Attitude Award in December 2016 for its inclusive programme.
Various on-site provisions and innovative features are supported by disability awareness training for staff, including dedicated briefings for area leaders on specific potential barriers around site, and continuous consultation with customers. As a result, the festival has seen significant increases in deaf and disabled customers over the past five years.
Members of the festival team have also worked to champion the subject of accessibility in the events industry, joining AIE and independently advocating for best practice at various industry events and in industry press.
“I’m absolutely delighted to see Just So Festival, such an innovative and creative family event, gain the Gold Award via our Charter of Best Practice," said AIE CEO Suzanne Bull. "The organisers are a fantastic example of how access does not need to be treated as a niche, bolt-on addition to a festival. They demonstrate how access can be at the core of creative event-planning, and how this can benefit the experience of all attendees.
"Exciting things can emerge from consulting with disabled customers and striving to make the festival experience better each year. We can’t wait to see what the festival does next.”
By Sophie Nevrkla