Awakenings has partnered with HandicapNL and Philips TV & Sound for its Summer Festival and is delighted to introduce a ‘low-stimulus’ space. This dedicated area is designed to provide a serene and calming environment for festival-goers who may require it, offering amenities such as noise-cancelling headphones, soothing sounds, and tranquil imagery.
In the Netherlands, there are approximately 2 million people living with disabilities, including a significant number of young individuals. Unfortunately, many of these young people feel isolated and are unable to attend festivals. Participating in everyday activities can be challenging for them. Awakenings aims to make a difference by enhancing the accessibility of its events, ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can fully enjoy the festival experience.
The newly added care space will be staffed by HandicapNL personnel, with the support of a medical volunteer for assistance. Several designated areas have been created where overstimulated visitors can find peace and quiet individually. Additionally, a treatment room is available for those in need of medical care. A qualified attendant stationed at the entrance will ensure that only individuals genuinely requiring the space can access it, while directing other visitors to various chill-out areas throughout the festival grounds.
Nikki Schuurs, Sustainability Manager at Awakenings, shared her thoughts on this initiative:
“Previously, Awakenings has taken steps to accommodate visitors with disabilities by providing complimentary tickets for companions, accessible parking and toilets, ramps, and pathways. Through discussions with HandicapNL and engaging with the target audience, we realized the potential to do even more. We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to embrace the beauty of festivals.
At Awakenings, we are committed to removing as many barriers as possible in the future, starting with the introduction of the low-stimulus space. Many individuals may desire to attend festivals, but due to their limitations or preference not to be surrounded by large crowds for extended periods, they opt out. Our goal is to address this issue by offering solutions through these additions to our festival experience. By sharing knowledge and experiences, we hope to inspire other event organizers and make the festival industry more inclusive and accessible.”
Awakenings is part of the frontrunners group led by HandicapNL, which aims to make events more accessible under the banner of ‘Unlimited Party’.
The low-stimulus space is a collaboration between Awakenings, HandicapNL, and Philips TV & Sound. Through discussions with HandicapNL, the necessary requirements to adequately accommodate people with disabilities at festivals were identified, and Philips TV & Sound emerged as a valuable partner to fulfill those needs. Philips TV & Sound will provide noise-cancelling headphones and screens for the low-stimulus area, among other contributions.
Daniëlle Schuurmans, Director of HandicapNL, expressed their vision: “We strive to create a world in which people with disabilities do not face any restrictions within society. This often requires significant changes, and collaborations with frontrunners have a tremendous positive impact. We are incredibly pleased that Awakenings is one of our 10 festival partners, as we share a vision of bringing people together regardless of differences. This collaboration brings our society closer, and we are immensely proud of the contribution we and our partners have made!”
The low-stimulus space at Awakenings Summer Festival is part of a pilot project, with the intention of making it a regular feature at future Awakenings festivals. Insights gained from this initiative will be shared with both the leaders group of ‘Unlimited Party’ and the internal festival working group within the ID&T Group, promoting collaboration and further progress.
Awakenings hopes to inspire other organizers to follow suit, enabling individuals with disabilities to enjoy festivals to the fullest. At Awakenings Summer Festival, as always, one caregiver can accompany a person with disabilities free of charge. Additional cottages with disabled facilities have been designated, and specific spots near toilet and shower buildings have been modified to accommodate disabled individuals who prefer to bring their own tents.
Please visit our events page for more information.
Written by: Artificial Intelligence Technology