Disability at Glastonbury 2010
The Glastonbury Festival always sparks much excitement here at Ouch towers, as we immediately scour the extensive line-up for the merest hint of disability amongst the acts and check out access provision for disabled fans. It's what we do.
In years gone by, we struggled to find any disabled bands on the list and were often concerned at how a disabled festival goer would manage the huge campus. However, at the past couple of festivals, things have vastly improved on both counts. With the blind pop legend Stevie Wonder headlining the famous Pyramid Stage on Sunday evening, Glasto 2010 really surpasses itself when it comes to disability representation.
But Stevie is by no means the only disabled performer strutting his stuff at the festival this year. Also appearing Sunday, Congolese polio survivers Staff Benda Bilili will treat the West Holts stage to their unique brand of African pop. I met the band last year on a previous visit to our country: Read their incredible story of a life on the streets of Kinshasa and rise to international stardom in my article: Staff Benda Bilili: African disability beats hit the UK.
On Saturday 25th of June, on the Queen's Head stage, the Mystery Jets, whose lead singer, Blaine Harrison, has spina bifida. They'll be doing their Indi rock thing. Blaine spoke to me a while ago about the work he is doing with campaigners Attitude is Everything to improve access to live music for disabled people. Click to read our 13 Questions interview with him. Also, keep an eye on the main site for Blaine's two online video interviews, part of Dis Connected, a brand new video series coming to Ouch! from next week.
Attitude is Everything is the organisation famous for promoting disability related music acts, managing the access facilities at a range of UK festivals and campaigning for better access for performers so they can strut their stuff. This year they're curating the disabled artists event Club Attitude; it's at The Hub which is situated in the Shangri La zone on Saturday afternoon from 1.00pm. Acts will include La Rebla Fam, who were guests on the June 2010 Ouch! Talk Show, Bug Prentice who will feature on our next show and more (you can hear some of their music and an audio interview with their lead singer if you click that link).
Here's the full line-up at Glastonbury's Club Attitude
If you are disabled and planning to be at Glasto, this is an afternoon not to be missed.
If you spot another act with disability links in the line-up, please leave a comment below. And if you are heading to Glastonbury 2010, have a blast!