Sunday 19 May 2019

British Summer Time festival commended for inclusion of deaf and disabled fans

The event in London’s Hyde Park has numerous measures to help festival-goers.

Michael Buble fans in the rain during his performance at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park in 2018 (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Michael Buble fans in the rain during his performance at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park in 2018 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

The British Summer Time festival has been commended for its treatment of deaf and disabled fans.

The annual event, held in London’s Hyde Park, has won praise for its work in making live music accessible.

The festival has introduced measures including roving drinks vendors, sign language interpreters, and free passes for personal assistants.

Disability charity Attitude Is Everything welcomed BST’s efforts to include all fans.

The charity and the festival have worked together for five years on the Hyde Park event, which has welcomed the likes of Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, and The Cure to the stage.

Accessible viewing platforms, toilets and pre-gig booking information have been commended by the charity, which has granted the event Gold status for the first time.

Jenny Hamada, event manager for festival organiser AEG Presents, said: “Making sure our events are open to all is a top priority of ours, and we believe it truly sets us apart from our competitors.

“Recognition from Attitude Is Everything, who we’ve worked with for many years, is a heartening sign that these efforts are making a real difference.”

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Robert Smith of The Cure performing at the British Summer Time festival (Matt Crossick/PA)

The aim to allow everyone to enjoy the show’s acts as much as possible has led to using British Sign Language interpreters, and easy-to-read event information.

In future the festival will introduce guided tours for those who need help to navigate the site.

Paul Hawkins, of Attitude Is Everything, said: “We have been particularly impressed with how the festival has engaged with staff training around access, provided fantastic customer service on the ground, and implemented our Charter recommendations, as well as the clear ambition to be as accessible as they can possibly be.”

The British Summer Time festival begins on July 12.

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