Festival awarded for its accessibility for disabled fans returns to region

Last year's Chase Park Festival
Last year's Chase Park Festival

A festival praised for making music events more accessible for disabled gig-goers has announced it will be returning to the region this summer.

This year’s Chase Park Festival will take place on Saturday, August 6 and is set to attract thousands of music fans to Gateshead to the family-friendly festival.

Festival organiser Alistair McDonald has said Chase Park 2016 will be a step up on last year’s sell-out gathering – which featured Irish rock legends Ash and Sunderland’s SLUG.

Speaking ahead of this month’s line-up announcement, which will come on the June 23, he said:“We are delighted to be back and when people see the line-up announcements people will see we are really back with a bang.

“We were absolutely blown away by the public reaction last year. We sold out the night before the event for the first time. Without the support of North East music fans buying tickets and supporting the event, we simply couldn’t continue to put the festival on so we’re going to reward our supporters with another memorable festival here at Chase Park this August.

“We have been the best-kept secret for a few years now but after the success of last year’s event, I think we can safely say that we are on the map in terms of North East Festivals and we’re gearing up for something special.”

Thanks to Arts Council and European Regional Development funding, Chase Park Festival has confirmed it will also run a programme of masterclasses aimed at disabled artists.

Chase Park Festival is one of only three festivals in the country to have a Gold Standard from Attitude is Everything for its accessibility for disabled music fans.

“We are delighted to have support from the Arts Council, which this year will enable us to run a focused talent development programme aimed at disabled artists. This shows that the scale and scope of the event are growing beyond purely being one of the most accessible events in the UK,” adds Alistair.

He added: “When the event started we discovered that festivals are often not accessible to disabled music fans due to location, cost and various others factors. “By running a stage for disabled musicians we have discovered that opportunities are limited.

“We are working with the UK’s leading music development agency, Generator, to develop and expand people’s skills and knowledge so that disabled individuals have improved access to opportunities and the chance to develop careers as artists.”

•Chase Park Festival is located in Whickham, Gateshead. Tickets for the event will be free for under 5s. Remaining tickets are priced at £9.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on June 21 from www.chaseparkfestival.co.uk