In our State of Access Report 2016, we showed that 38% of venues visited by mystery shoppers featured a lowered bar, compared to 22% in the previous State of Access Report. This is one example of the type of access improvement that can be achieved simply by looking again at a space with accessibility in mind and implementing a policy.
In the case of festivals, bars are usually step-free, serving out of or within tented structures. This inherent physical accessibility means that the majority of festival bars are prime locations for lowered bars. Despite this, our State of Access Report 2016 revealed that dedicated lowered bars were observed at only 23% of festivals surveyed. This is a situation that can be easily rectified.
As we demonstrate below, any scale of event can provide lowered bars, whether in a DIY fashion or in collaboration with event suppliers:
Based on specifications provided by Attitude is Everything, 2000trees festival built lowered bars for the first time in 2015. The organisers asked a friend and volunteer who works as a carpenter to construct the lowered sections to add on to their existing bars which are all hand-crafted. He used leftover wood from previous years, painted it white and covered it in vinyl. The organisers briefed the bar management team on their purpose, who then handed down the briefing to bar staff.
BBC Proms in the Park
The lowered bars at this event were the product of collaboration between the event’s production company, Festival Republic, and bar supplier Central Catering Services. A dressed table was added to the end of a long modular bar, and the pedestrian exit of a fenced queuing system was utilised as the access route to and from the sign-posted lowered section. Viewing platform accreditation doubled up as the means by which to gain access to the bar via the stewarded pedestrian exit. A lowered bar was also placed at the back of the viewing platform for the convenience of customers.
Read more about how food, drink and merchandise can be made accessible in our State of Access Report 2016.