Accessible Festivals with Changing Places

As we all know, festivals can be problematic when it comes to planning, large crowds and of course, unpredictable weather.

This is an even bigger issue when it comes to accessibility.

According to government statistics, around 3.6 million disabled people attend a live music event each year, with the likes of Glastonbury Festival providing Changing Place toilets, charging facilities for wheelchairs and fridges to store medication.

However, a lot more needs to be done across the UK to enable more disabled people to enjoy the festival experience.

Accessible Festival Glastonbury
Glastonbury Festival is helping to improve accessibility for disabled festival-goers.

With festival season in full swing, this blogs discusses how the inclusion of more Changing Places can increase the number of accessible festivals, focusing on the following areas:

  • The need for more Changing Places in outdoor venues
  • How Changing Places can benefit festival organisers with the Purple Pound
  • How modular Changing Places can make outdoor events more inclusive

1)    The need for more Changing Places Outdoors

Whether it is the inclusion of dedicated car park access or designated viewing areas, music festival organisers have steadily improved accessibility for disabled visitors.

Outdoor accessible toilets have also seen improvement, but there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure these events provide the right facilities to cater for different care needs.

Day Out CPT Stats
Changing Places are essential to allow more people to attend events.

We know from the survey commissioned by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers and Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) in 2021, that outdoor spaces rank as the number one area where people want to see Changing Places toilets provided.

These types of events are designed for groups of people to spend the day/weekend there, but if they don’t include suitable toileting and changing provisions, those with disabilities either have to manage their fluid intake, limit the amount of time they spend at an event or avoid it all together.

One of the standout figures from the survey was the fact that one in five (21%) respondents said that without a nearby Changing Place toilet, it made it impossible for them to have a day out.

As a result, festivals cannot be truly inclusive if they do not have a Changing Places facility on site.

Changing Places Sign - Accessible Festivals
Many families plan their attendance to an event based on whether there is an available Changing Place on site.

Want to learn more about Changing Places?

Having been advocates for the Changing Places campaign for over 10 years now, we are more than happy to share our knowledge and expertise wherever we can.

To find out everything there is to know about Changing Places, download our free brochure below.

2)    Power of the Purple Pound

With over 14 million people living with a disability in the UK, the Purple Pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – has risen to a staggering £274 billion.

However, less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market.

Many businesses, especially those in the tourism and events, can receive huge benefits by capitalising on this untapped market by improving disability access to attract more disabled customers.

Modular Changing Place Accessible Festivals Interior at Military Tattoo
Less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market.

Here are a couple of important figures that show why including a Changing Place can benefit event organisers and businesses:

  • One in five potential UK consumers have a disability.
  • UK businesses lose approximately £2 billion a month by ignoring the needs of disabled customers.
  • Taking averages per head, the online spending power of disabled people is estimated at over £16 billion.
  • 75% of disabled people and their families have walked away from a UK business because of poor accessibility.

By installing a Changing Place, you are upgrading your event to cater for people with even the most complex of care needs.

From the most recent Changing Places survey, many disabled people and their families will only consider attending accessible festivals that have suitable toileting facilities in place.

Click here to read our blog detailing which areas require urgent action on Changing Place provision.

3)    Modular Changing Places for Accessible Festivals

One of the biggest issues that outdoor events and festivals face is providing accessible toilet facilities.

Due to the fact that they are open spaces, they rarely include existing structures where a Changing Place can be installed.

However, modular Changing Places solve that problem!

Modular Changing Place
Not every building or venue has the ability to fit a Changing Place into their existing structure – that’s why we offer the option for a modular Changing Places facility!

Built fully off-site, modular Changing Places are pre-fabricated units that can be situated wherever needed to provide accessible toilet facilities for disabled users.

They can be installed in half a day onto a prepared base with services already in place, providing a quick and effective way of including a compliant Changing Place.

Through this method of construction, it makes open areas and festivals more accessible, as families and their carers have the confidence the event they are attending has suitable changing and toileting facilities available.

Modular Changing Place at the Military Tattoo

Modular Changing Place
The new modular Changing Place will provide accessible toilet facilities for visitors at the Tattoo.

We are seeing more organisations and event organisers investing in Changing Places to ensure they are creating a more inclusive environment for visitors.

An example of this is The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

From August 2022, they will have a modular Changing Places facility, helping visitors access their annual event at the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade more easily.

This will be located in the staging area, and used for the duration of the event.

Due to its modular configuration, the facility can be moved to different locations to cover Tattoo events throughout the year.

Click here to read how Innova helped this annual event become more inclusive.  

Summary

As the number of disabled people attending live music events increases, the greater the need for Changing Place toilets at festivals.

We have seen the likes of Glastonbury incorporate a number of different inclusive features for their festival, making it easier for people to attend and enjoy their event.

However, to increase the number of accessible festivals, improvement is needed across the UK.

Many families plan their event visits based on the accessible facilities available, so it is imperative that organisers incorporate a Changing Place on site.

By including a Changing Place, the festival opens the door to more potential visitors, and ensures that any event goer with a disability can enjoy the event in the same way as anyone else.

Complete the contact form below to find out more about our Changing Places service.