Live Nation commits to improving accessibility at UK festivals with EHRC agreement

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Live Nation, on behalf of itself and festival operator Festival Republic, has signed a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) following accessibility concerns at two major UK events. 

The EHRC’s concerns followed a number of reports of poor accessibility for disabled customers at Wireless Festival in 2022. There were further reports of access issues at Download Festival in June this year, with obscured stage visibility and poor facilities.

Through the agreement – which is known as a section 23 agreement under the Equality Act 2006 – Live Nation (Music) UK Limited has committed to undertaking an investigation into the cause of issues at Wireless 2022 and Download 2023, to ensure these situations are not repeated.

Additionally, Live Nation has agreed to introduce a new accessibility manual, review all internal policies and procedures to make sure accessibility provisions are included, introduce organisation-wide training on disability awareness and accessibility, and work with ‘mystery shoppers’ to ensure staff are responding appropriately to accessibility needs at festivals.

Under the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, Live Nation is legally required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled attendees across its festival portfolio, which includes Wireless, Download, Latitude, Wilderness, and Reading and Leeds Festival.

“Live music and festivals are a pivotal part of British culture, and we are lucky to have such a vibrant array of events each year that can cater for every individual taste,” said Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

“Festivals deserve to be enjoyed by all, including disabled people. No one should be subjected to poor treatment when attending or being put off from attending altogether due to unacceptable access issues.”

Baroness Falkner added: “The reported experiences at both Wireless and Download festival were unacceptable and should never have happened. We welcome Live Nation’s commitment to improve their services and the signing of this agreement will ensure disabled people are not left behind at future events.”