Organisers of the KESWICK MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL (KMF) have shared details of the event’s new Accessibility Zone, designed to make the festival more accessible and welcoming to visitors with disabilities and adaptive sporting needs. The event’s main base is in the KMF Festival Village on Crow Park, with the backdrop of Derwentwater and the Lakeland fells.
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 a unique mix of live entertainment, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family.
The KMF 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); 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 Adapt-e, Wheels for All, Disability Snowsports UK, British Canoeing (paddleability), Lake District Mobility, ICE Trikes, Mountain Trike and Bendrigg Trust.
Craig Grimes, owner and Director of Experience Community, will also present the premiere of 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 with organisers of the other sporting events doing what they can to make them as accessible as possible. In addition, there will be a test route for trying out vehicles that are being exhibited on the site.
Leading paracyclist 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 said, “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, added, “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 when the idea for the KMF Accessibility Zone was born.
“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 now. 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.