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Edinburgh Fringe Festival put accessibility centre stage

20th June 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Founded in 1947, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has become a household name, as well as one of the largest festivals dedicated to the arts from around the world. The Fringe Festival has also long been synonymous with a liberal and inclusive attitude towards many isolated and minority members of the community, and has been a celebration of individualism.

The 2017 festival is no exception, not only is the welcome address being delivered by renowned drag queen Panti Bliss, but accessibility will take centre stage in many of the discussions and workshops during the festival. Robert Softley Gale will lead a discussion about disability within the entertainment industry. This will be hosted by Equity in line with their Play Fair Campaign.

 

Caroline Bowditch is working with the children’s festival imaginate to discuss the visibility of disability in theatre and in dance for young audiences. Many more workshops will be encompassed by The Breaking Down Barriers element of the festival which focusses on accessibility, equality and diversity within the performing arts and in order to continue this mantra, all programmes within The Breaking Down Barriers strand are free to fringe ticket holders.

Not only is Edinburgh Fringe Festival making accessibility a topic of discussion, but they have a clear strategy to meeting the needs of those who attend the festival with limited mobility. With dedicated staff acting as Box Office Access Assistants, information on the accessibility of different venues is readily available.

There are scheduled inclusive and accessible performances as well as clearly marked disabled bathrooms. The mobiloo is a mobile version of a changing place bathroom with all the facilities one has come to expect, however it will also be staffed with volunteers so every need is supported and dignity maintained. 

Image Credit: Laura Suarez