Ten Years of Changing Places

Posted on 19.07.2016

Ten Years of Changing Places

Today marks 10 years since the official opening of the Changing Places campaign for fully accessible toilets, for those whose needs can’t be met by standard accessible facilities. They are larger than standard accessible toilets and contain extra equipment including an adult-size changing bench and a hoist, vital services for many of the 230,000 people in the UK who require personal assistance to use the toilet.  

The introduction of over 850 Changing Places facilities across the UK in the last 10 years has had a transformative effect, enabling those who need them to travel for the first time, and visit places and events that had previously been beyond reach. But despite this progress, this is still a tiny number of toilets for such a large demographic, and many places remain entirely out of bounds for them due to lack of facilities; this includes most of the UK’s music venues and festivals. 

People with additional support needs shouldn’t be excluded from live music events due to lack of facilities. Alongside this obvious moral case, there is also a strong business case for the introduction of Changing Places toilets. They mark out a venue as welcoming and accessible to disabled customers and their households, a significant customer base with a combined income of over £212 billion after housing costs. And as there are still relatively few Changing Places across the country, they are a big selling point and make the difference between buying tickets or not for those who need them and their families.

Some of the larger music venues on our Charter of Best Practice, as well as some other non-Charter venues, now offer Changing Places toiliets.

Music Venues in the UK with Changing Places Facilities

While very few festivals have accredited Changing Places facilities, a small number of Charter festivals provide similar facilities for those who require them. Additionally, portable toilet suppliers are raising their game to provide a better and wider range of accessible units. This is a big improvement on earlier years when some festivalgoers we know had to bring an entire separate tent, bench, hoist and toilet every year in order to attend!

To find out more about what each event offers, please consult their access information page or contact their access officer – this information should be available on the websites below.

Festivals catering to this demographic include: