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The world's most accessible music festivals

26th April 2024


The world is home to some amazing music festivals, with people travelling thousands of miles just to experience them. But how accessible are these festivals for those with disabilities?

By comparing the accessible facilities of the world’s most popular music festivals, this study has produced a definitive ranking.

Read on to discover which festivals have come out on top and how your favourites compare.

Key findings

  • Glastonbury is the most accessible major music festival in the world.
  • Coachella and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival rank in the top three.
  • 19/25 of the most popular music festivals offer accessible viewing areas.

What is the most accessible music festival in the world?

The world's most accessible music festival

The most accessible music festivals in the world

What are the three most accessible music festivals in the world?

  • Glastonbury
  • Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Glastonbury, UK


Glastonbury Festival is one of the most iconic and famous festivals in the world, and every year, the site in Somerset turns into a vibrant melting pot. The UK festival not only attracts the world’s most famous musicians, but it is open to all. Glastonbury is the most accessible major music festival in the world, according to the study – receiving a perfect 10/10 score.

The accessibility at Glastonbury Festival is ranked so highly because the festival offers facilities and services such as accessible viewing platforms, a shuttle bus for festival goers who use a wheelchair or mobility scooters, and BSL interpreting services are available to deaf or hard-of-hearing visitors, to name just a few.

ALSO READ: 5 National Trust places to visit in Somerset

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, USA

For more than 20 years, thousands of music lovers have flocked to the USA’s Greater Palm Springs for the Coachella Festival, one of the most renowned music festivals in the world. The event unfolds over two consecutive weekends, and it has hosted a wide range of artists, from rock standouts and indie bands to mainstream pop performers like Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé.

The accessibility at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of the best in the world. It received a near-perfect accessibility score of 9/10 in this study. The festival offers great disabled access to visitors as there is on-site disabled parking, wheelchair-accessible routes across the site, accessible toilets and wheelchairs that can be hired. An added bonus for disabled festival goers is that there is accessible camping available.

ALSO READ: Who are the most iconic British musicians over 65?

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival celebrates the unique culture and heritage of New Orleans and Louisiana. It features an endless amount of music, mouthwatering local and regional delicacies, handmade arts and crafts, parades and much more.

This world-famous event ranks among the top three most accessible festivals in the world, receiving an accessibility score of 9/10. Wheelchair users and other festival goers with limited mobility can enjoy a wide variety of accessibility services and facilities at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Access to the music festival is easy for wheelchair users as there is on-site disabled parking at the venue, hearing loops and other listening devices are available, and accessible viewing platforms can be accessed. Visitors to the festival who have a mobility issue can get a personal assistant ticket for free.

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What other festivals offer good accessibility?

Several other festivals performed well in the study, proving themselves to be very accessible events.

Austin City Limits in Texas scored 8/10, along with Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival, and another big Texas event, SXSW (South by Southwest).

All these music festivals offer accessible toilets, accessible routes, discounted/carer tickets, accessible viewing areas, accessible shuttle/transport services, and permit the attendance of guide dogs.

You can take a look at the full details for these festivals in the table above, as well as see where other festivals came in the study.

ALSO READ: The benefits of music for older people

How accessible are the world’s music festivals?

The world’s most popular music festivals are, on the whole, very accessible to people with limited mobility or other disabilities.

The study looked at the 25 most-attended music festivals in the world, and the research found that 20/25 festivals offer accessible toilets, 19/25 have accessible viewing areas, and 18/25 offer accessible routes or step-free access to festival goers.

Areas that music festivals could improve on included wheelchairs being available to hire, with only 5/25 offering this service, and 6/25 music festivals offering sensory rooms and quiet areas to festival goers.

Another area where music festivals could improve is to add all the necessary information about how accessible their festivals are on their website. There were four festivals which did not have any accessibility information on their website, whilst other festivals had certain information missing.

Other findings from the research:

  • 12/25 of festivals offer on-site disabled parking
  • 11/25 festivals offer discounted or free carer tickets
  • 13/25 have accessible shuttle services or transport
  • 17/25 festivals state that guide dogs are welcome
  • 11/25 offer accessible listening services

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The study looked at whether the disability facilities listed below were present at each music festival:

  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible routes/step-free access
  • Wheelchairs available to hire
  • On-site disabled parking
  • Discounted tickets or carer tickets
  • Accessible viewing areas
  • Accessible shuttle services/transport
  • Sensory rooms & quiet areas
  • Guide dogs permitted
  • Accessible listening services

Festivals were given a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ mark for each accessibility facility, and points were given for each facility that the festival offered. This allowed the festivals to be given a score out of 10.

There were four other festivals included in the study (Donauinselfest, Essence Music Festival, Rock in Rio, Untold Festival), but either the festival websites didn’t provide the necessary accessibility information, or the festival did not respond to our enquiry.  

Original data can be found here.

Sources: Glastonbury, Coachella, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, South by Southwest, Euan’s Guide - SXSW, The Governors Ball Music Festival, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Summerfest, Tomorrowland (source, source,) Sziget, Ultra Music Festival, Airbeat One Festival, Primavera Sound, Festival d’été de Québec, Pol'and'Rock Festival (source, source), Nova Rock, Pukkelpop, Exit (source, source)

*Please note: Every festival was contacted by email and asked to provide information about their accessibility; if there was no response, the data was either taken from the festival website or a third-party source.

The best music festivals for accessibility

From festivals in the UK to Europe and the US, this study has revealed which of the world’s greatest music festivals are the most accessible. The UK’s legendary Glastonbury Festival has come out on top, rising above some fierce competition.

While these massive events provide some important accessibility features, there is always more that can be done to help those with disabilities enjoy the world’s best musical artists.

This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of home mobility products such as stairliftshomelifts and bathing solutions. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible, please get in touch.

For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our news page.

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