Live Nation (Music) UK Limited, in conjunction with festival operator Festival Republic, has entered into a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in response to accessibility issues arising at two UK festivals.
The EHRC’s concerns followed multiple reports of poor accessibility for disabled customers at Wireless Festival in July 2022. These concerns were heightened following additional reports of disability access issues at Download Festival in June 2023. Issues included obscured stage visibility and poor facilities.
Live Nation (Music) UK Limited has pledged to adhere to the terms of a section 23 agreement under the Equality Act 2006, as stipulated in their legal arrangement with the EHRC.
- Undertake a robust lesson learning exercise to investigate the cause of issues at Wireless 2022 and Download 2023 and ensure they are not repeated.
- Introduce a new accessibility manual to assess and promote accessibility on all existing and new festival sites. The manual should act as a one-stop shop for all accessibility-related policies and processes and be regularly assessed.
- Review all internal policies and procedures to ensure accessibility provisions are included.
- Introduce organisation-wide training on disability awareness and accessibility which will be tailored to different roles, including those in customer facing roles.
- Working with ‘mystery shoppers’ to ensure that staff are responding properly to accessibility needs in festivals.
Under the Equality Act 2010 Live Nation are legally required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers at their festivals.
The agreement encompasses various festivals, such as Wireless, Download, Latitude, Wilderness, Reading, and Leeds Festival.
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, emphasized the significance of live music and festivals in British culture, highlighting the diverse range of events available to cater to individual preferences each year.
“Everyone, including individuals with disabilities, should have the opportunity to enjoy festivals without facing mistreatment or being discouraged by accessibility challenges. The incidents reported at Wireless and Download festivals were completely unacceptable and should have been prevented. We appreciate Live Nation’s dedication to enhancing their services, and this agreement will guarantee that disabled individuals are not excluded from future events.”