5 accessible festivals in the UK in 2022 and how to get to them

Summer is just around the corner, and with people looking to blow off some steam and experience days of sunshine, green fields, and great music, we’ve put together a list of 5 accessible festivals for you to choose from.

Bluedot Festival

Dates: 21 to 24 July 2022

Venue: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

Bluedot uniquely blends music and science to provide festival-goers with what they call ‘cosmic culture’. From ‘Mission Control’ to ‘Outer Space’, each stage has its own theme and experience. The lineup has headliners like Groove Armada, Mogwai, Metronomy, Björk and more. Their ‘Dot Talks’ feature mind-broadening panel discussions with leading scholars from across the world. And there’s also plenty of family fun – the ‘Science Fields’ and ‘Space Camp’ have a dazzling array of scientific displays, games and interactive experiments. 

Attitude is Everything awarded Bluedot the Gold Level in their best practices charter. Some of the festival’s accessibility features include:

  • 2 for 1 tickets for companion/personal assistant
  • Access guide/maps
  • Disabled parking
  • Accessible camping site with accessible unisex showers and toilets, and electric points for charging wheelchairs or mobility scooters
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible viewing platforms
  • Medical services
  • Hearing loops

There are plenty of ways by which you can travel to Bluedot, including by coach. Coach tickets are available via National Express, which does have a code of practice for disabled customers. If you are a wheelchair user wishing to travel with them, do contact their Assisted Travel Team in advance. If you travel by car, then the trip is 30 minutes from Manchester City Centre or 50 minutes from Liverpool City Centre. 

Latitude Festival

Dates: 21 to 24 July 2022

Venue: Henham Park, Suffolk

Latitude is a self-described ‘summer adventure’ that has a number of music, dance, comedy, theatre and literature events, as well as family and wellness activities. Their line-up includes Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Snow Patrol, Modest Mouse, Phoebe Bridgers and more, with Russel Howard as the first comedy headliner. 

The festival has a dedicated Access team that works alongside Attitude is Everything volunteers to ensure disabled festival-goers have the best possible experience. Some of their accessibility features include:

  • 2 for 1 tickets for companion/personal assistant
  • Access guide/maps
  • Disabled parking
  • Accessible campsite with wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers, changing places unit, drinking water points and accessible sink, electrical points for charging wheelchairs or mobility scooters, and a fridge for storing medicines
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible viewing platforms
  • Hearing loops and BSL Interpreting services
  • Medical and welfare facilities are available 24/7

In terms of how to travel to Latitude, you can get there by train, taxi, coach or car. The festival’s official and exclusive coach provider is Big Green Coach, who requests that you email them with your details before you book so that they can try to arrange assistance. If you travel to Suffolk by train, then the closest stations are Diss or Halesworth, though both will require you to book a taxi the rest of the way (there is a shuttle bus option via Borderbus, but unfortunately the vehicles aren’t accessible).

WOMAD Festival

Dates: 28 to 31 July

Venue: Charlton Park Estate, Wiltshire

WOMAD stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance. It’s an internationally renowned festival that draws artists from all countries and continents and is held in beautiful Charlton Park Estate. There’s music, artist workshops, talks, dancing, activities for children and the family, food and more. The line-up includes The Flaming Lips, Lianne La Havas, Gilberto Gil & Family, Kae Tempest and more.

The festival has a dedicated Disabled access team and aims to meet any and all requirements that disabled festival-goers may have. Some of their accessibility features include:

  • Free entry for assistants or essential companions (evidence needs to be provided)
  • Disabled camping area
  • Disabled toilets and showers available throughout the festival area
  • Festival medical services, including a fridge to store medicines
  • Wheelchair battery recharging services are available
  • Wheelchair or mobility scooter hire is available
  • Wheelchair-accessible sites (in bad weather the ground can become muddy, though they do lay metal or plastic tracks across the site)
  • Accessible viewing platforms
  • Urgent toilet needs
  • BSL interpreters at selected performances

You can get to the venue by train, bus or car. If you travel by train, then you can get off at Chippenham via Great Western Railway. The festival runs bus services from the station to the festival and back. There’s also a shuttle service from London and Malmesbury, though they are yet to confirm how accessible these services will be. 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Dates: 5 to 29 August 2022

Venue: Edinburgh

The Fringe is a world-famous festival in Edinburgh. For three weeks the capital of Scotland plays host to the finest talents in the arts, with hundreds of stages across the city presenting shows of all kinds – music, theatre, comedy, dance, spoken word, exhibitions and more. 

In association with Attitude is Everything, the festival has a Venue Access Award to ensure all venues know and follow best practices for accessibility. Some of the festival’s many accessibility features include:

  • Blue Badge parking
  • Lothian bus access (these buses are designed to make bus travel easier for passengers with disabilities)
  • Accessible shows (you can search for shows by access providers such as wheelchair access or signed performance) 
  • Access tickets service which allows you to book accessibility services (such as hearing loops, captioning units, seating preferences, etc.), request information and assistance, and more
  • Changing places toilets
  • Sensory backpacks

Because the festival is located in Edinburgh, there are a number of ways to get there. You can fly, travel by train or bus, or drive to Edinburgh. If you travel by train, then keep in mind that Waverly station is the city’s central station that is close to most festival venues and bus services. Within the city, there are trams, taxis, rickshaws, and Lothian buses available (a day ticket for the bus will cost you £4.50). Most venues have a bus stop nearby and are also relatively close to one another in terms of distance. 

Victorious Festival

Dates: 26 to 28 August 2022

Venue: Southsea, Portsmouth

Victorious is on the gorgeous Southsea seafront in Portsmouth. You’re guaranteed great views and just as great music, with a line-up that includes Stereophonics, Paolo Nutini, Bastille, Sam Fender and more. There’s also plenty of family fun, with a kid’s area that has music, arts and crafts, and all sorts of interesting activities. 

The festival was awarded a gold level of commitment to being accessible by Attitude is Everything. Some of the festival’s accessibility features include:

  • Mostly level terrain, with concrete paths across the site
  • Free companion/personal assistant ticket scheme
  • Blue Badge parking
  • Accessible entry points
  • Accessible viewing platforms
  • Disabled toilets are available in all toilet blocks, and there’s also a Mobiloo (if you require a hoist, then please do take your own sling) 
  • Fridge available for storing medication (but do bring a doctor’s letter or prescription with you)
  • Hearing loops and BSL services (please email them in advance if you require BSL access service)
  • Accessible camping (with accessible toilets)

Getting to Victorious is relatively straightforward since it’s located in Portsmouth. Big Green Coach is the official coach transport for the festival, but contact them in advance to find out if they can meet your accessibility needs. 

If you travel by train, there are three stations less than 30 minutes away from the festival: Portsmouth & Southsea, Fratton, and Portsmouth Harbour. South Western Railway also has trains to the Victorious Festival. Within the city, First Group and Stagecoach offer disabled and wheelchair-accessible bus services, or you can catch a taxi. Of course, if you’re travelling from the Isle of Wight, Gosport or Hayling Island, you can catch a boat to Portsmouth.

The above are only 5 of many festivals in the UK which are trying to be as accessible as possible. If you do attend any of them, we hope you have a lovely time! And remember to use the Passenger Assistance app if you travel by train to any of these destinations – it’s designed to simplify assisted travel and make your rail journey stress-free.