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> > > Latitude Festival awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice

Attitude is Everything is very pleased to announce that Latitude Festival(17th- 20th July) has been awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice.

The Silver award is in recognition of the ongoing efforts of Festival Republic, the festival organisers, to build upon event access and inclusion at the site on a yearly basis, which has resulted in a loyal Deaf and disabled customer base. It comes as Festival Republic plans for the 2014 event in collaboration with Attitude is Everything, with a host of additional Best Practice tweaks and improvements to access planned across the site. 

Attitude is Everything have been the access consultants for Festival Republic for many years now, and this input has been complimented by a commitment to inclusion and vocal support for the ethos of Attitude is Everything by Melvin Benn, Director of Festival Republic, and those members of staff whose remits cover event accessibility, namely Sharon Reuben, Head of Guest and Artist Liaison, and Disabled Access Co-ordinator Louise O’Herlihy.

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic:

“I am very proud and delighted that Latitude has achieved the Silver level from Attitude is Everything this year. Festival Republic takes access at all of our events very seriously and we are committed to improving the festival experience to all of our valued disabled and D/deaf customers. We hope to build on our achievements this season, with the team working in conjunction with Attitude is Everything to make our 2014 events as accessible as possible.”

Standout access facilities in place at Latitude Festival include a British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation service provided by Hands4U for a range of pre-arranged and upon-request performances, with over 130 customers making use of the service in 2013.  This service has extended to online information about the festival being translated via BSL videos on the Latitude Festival YouTube channel. 

The festival also has a very well-established accessible campsite that features a staffed Information Tent, viewing platforms and areas where applicable, hearing loops in all spoken-word venues, accessible seating in the Theatre Tent, a dedicated accessible arena entrance, and provision of the Festaxi transport service for disabled campers to use if they wish.

The festival also works with Oxfam Stewarding to provide viewing platform and other stewards, an organisation that works closely with Attitude is Everything to provide accessible volunteering opportunities at festivals.  Oxfam Viewing Platform stewards are provided with a custom Disability Awareness and Viewing Platform Management briefing session on-site to ensure that they provide a high-quality service to customers.  This is an example of the way in which many improvements and good practices have come about as a result of close working with partners on the ground, including Oxfam, area managers, traders, site builders and security, proving that achieving an inclusive environment at outdoor events depends on all parties involved working to the same aims.

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything:

“I am proud that prestigious arts and music festival Latitude Festival has been awarded the Silver Level of the Charter of Best Practice.  The solid working partnership that Attitude is Everything and Festival Republic is clearly demonstrated in the high level of commitment that the festival organisers bring to providing access. 

Access provision goes beyond just building facilities for people with physical impairments; there is a wide range of provision for people who have sensory impairments and as a result, Festival Republic have been rewarded with a loyal customer base of Deaf and hearing-impaired people. 

Latitude regularly programmes Deaf and disabled artists which is important because it demonstrates the value of programming a diversity of artists to other commercial festivals.  I am looking forward to Latitude Festival 2014 and what more our working partnership can bring.”