New Accessibility Zone set to open up Keswick Mountain Festival for more outdoor visitors
Bendrigg Trust are delighted to be a part of the brand new accessibility zone at the 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival!
The zone is being designed to make the festival more accessible and welcoming to visitors with disabilities and adaptive sporting needs. Supported by United Utilities and developed in partnership with not-for-profit company Experience Community, the zone will include special features, exhibitors and activities.
Founded in 2007, Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) is presented by title partner Land Rover and is now one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Cumbria. From 10-12 September, KMF will provide its unique mix of live entertainment, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family. The event’s main base is in the KMF Festival Village on Crow Park, with the backdrop of Derwent water and the Lakeland fells.
The Keswick Mountain Festival Accessibility Zone will be located just inside the Festival Village, on the flattest part of that area, with a ‘Mobiloo’ alongside it and parking for drivers with blue badges nearby. Disabled visitors and those with adaptive sporting needs will be able to watch the live entertainment on the main stage from a special viewing area (located close to the Mobiloo), and there will also be accessible toilets at the pop-up KMF campsite.
Thanks to support from United Utilities, KMF has been able to invite charities and not-for-profit groups to exhibit in the Accessibility Zone alongside commercial companies. Joining zone partner Experience Community, organisations that have signed up so far include :
- Wheels for All
- Disability Snowsports UK
- British Canoeing (paddle ability)
- Lake District Mobility
- ICE Trikes
- Mountain Trike
- and Bendrigg Trust
Craig Grimes, owner and Director of Experience Community, will also premiere a new film during the festival, as part of the Craghoppers 2021 Tent Talks programme. Growing up, Craig loved camping, walking, climbing, kayaking, caving and the outdoor life, then an accident left him paralysed from the chest down. Today, he runs Experience Community, which helps people with disabilities to access countryside adventures.
The KMF Accessibility Zone will also be the base for some dedicated activities hosted by Experience Community, including a guided walk on Saturday 11 September and an adapted bike ride on Sunday 12 September. The road sportives and DexShell Hell in the Fells gravel ride are all open to electric and adapted bikes, and organisers of the other sporting events will do what they can to make them as accessible as possible for all those who want to participate. In addition, there will be a test route for trying out vehicles that are being exhibited on the site.
Leading Para cyclist and Ordnance Survey ambassador Mel Nicholls has visited Keswick Mountain Festival several times and has taken part in the event’s Back o’ Skiddaw sportive. Mel comments: “Keswick Mountain Festival is a fabulous weekend of outdoor fun for everyone, with expert support for all to enjoy their chosen outdoor adventures, and some you’d never thought to try. It’s a fantastic event that I recommend for everyone who loves the outdoors and I hope that as many people as possible come along and explore all there is to get out there!”
Nicola Meadley, KMF director, adds: “We want Keswick Mountain Festival to be a welcoming and vibrant hub for all outdoor enthusiasts and especially those with disabilities and adaptive sporting needs. Experience Community, Adapt-e and ICE Trikes all attended in 2019 and the idea for the KMF Accessibility Zone was born then. With support from United Utilities, we have been able to develop it into what will be one of the most exciting new elements at the festival, but this is just the start. We won’t achieve everything in year one and we will definitely learn a lot in September, but I’m equally certain that we will deliver a really positive experience for visitors who spend time in the zone.”
Tickets for the 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival are available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.
To find out more about this year’s festival, visit the website or Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram.
A couple of the Bendrigg Trust team will be present throughout the whole weekend so please do come along and say hello!