Accessible Festivals is hosting a virtual auction to support its mission of creating more inclusive, accessible communities at music festivals and recreation events.
Created by accessibility consultant Austin Whitney, who serves as the non-profit’s chairman, Accessible Festivals is dedicated to making live music and recreational events fully accessible for people of all abilities, ending the stigmatization involved with having a disability while promoting the transformative power of live music.
“While ongoing efforts continue in the civic, corporate, education, private, and non-profit sectors to ensure inclusive and accessible accommodations for all abilities, little has been done to ensure the accessibility of live music, entertainment, and recreational events,” Whitney tells Billboard. “Accessible Festivals is committed to filling this void by providing resources, a roadmap, and a model that encompasses, engages, and celebrates the inclusion of people of all abilities in enjoying the social, emotional, and health benefits of recreation and leisure experiences.”
There are currently 61 million adults in the U.S. living with a disability, explains Whitney, who is also the founder and chief executive of Ten Fifty Entertainment, a consulting company that helped more than 90 festivals in 2019 develop accessibility planning and support. Two of Ten Fifty’s largest clients, Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival — along with dozens of other supporting events — are providing tickets for the auction, as is Accessible Festivals’ own Inclusion Festival, the nation’s first and only music and wellness festival designed to include and accommodate people with autism and other special needs.
“We had a custom music studio desk donated, as well as vacations, culinary experiences and other cool items,” Whitney tells Billboard. “It was great to see the live music industry all get behind our cause.”
The virtual auction opened Thursday (Dec. 10) and will run until Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. EST. More at accessiblefestivals.org.