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Disability at this summer's music festivals

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Vaughan | 13:44 UK time, Tuesday, 5 May 2009

It's only the start of May, but festival season isn't really that far off, especially if you're planning one or more weekends of camping out in the countryside in order to watch some of your favourite bands whilst trying not to sink into the mud.

Attitude is Everything, the organisation that works to improve deaf and disabled people's access to live music, are especially busy. They have just announced that this year's Glastonbury Festival will feature the event's first stage specifically for disabled performers. The Dada Stage, which will be located in the Shangri La field, is being organised by Attitude is Everything in collaboration with the festival, and will feature a Club Atttitude showcase on Saturday 27th June from 2.00pm to 6.00pm.

It's a stellar line-up of performers, with learning disabled punk band Heavy Load (they've been on our talk show, you know), sci-fi pop with stylophones, theremins and glockenspiels from Spaceships are Cool, and the London indie-pop meets afro-beat of Al Cool and the Stranger Wines. There'll also be DJs and, we're promised, some "very special guests". There are more details of the whole thing on Attitude is Everything's website.

Attitude is Everything are also running their Deaf and Disabled Stewarding Project again this year at the Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading Festivals. There's no pay, but you do get a chance to catch some bands and soak up the festival atmosphere whilst working on site, as well as helping to run Attitude is Everything's information tent. They're looking for 5 volunteers for Leeds and Reading, with 10 places at Glastonbury. Again, all the details are on their website.

Time to check there are no holes in your tent and that you've got your rain gear handy, then.


  • Comment number 1.

    Not sure why there should be a stage for disabled performers. This is a music festival, they should be on the same stage as others of the same musical ilk, disabled or not. Surely siphening them off somewhere else is going to result in only a handful of non-fans bothering to have a looks.

    More meaningless gestures designed to get better PR rather than introducing anyone to the actual music me thinks.

  • Comment number 2.

    Just so you know, the Dada stage is a mainstream stage curated by Continental Drifts for the rest of the weekend, so Heavy Load, Al Cool and Spaceships will be sharing it with many many mainstream artists over the weekend. We're just curating an afternoon and wanted to give the opportunity to the best of the Deaf and disabled artists that we've come into contact with through Club Attitude.

    There will also be DJ sets from the Chilli Fried and Deaf Rave crews, hope to see you all in the field!

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks for the information about Glastonbury.
    Also at Glastonbury this year will be students with a learning disability from the Organic Cafe at City and Islington college. They will be working with Greenpeace.
    see my blog


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