British Summer Time Hyde Park (BST) – A quick look at the Accessibility Viewing Platforms.

British Summer Time Hyde Park is becoming increasingly popular as the years go on. As a huge event, accessibility means a lot to the event organisers and we had a quick look at the viewing platform with a few things to look out for.

How well sign posted or easy to find is the accessible platform? It is sight able as soon as you enter via accessibility entrance.

There is a separate entrance for accessibility and it leads directly to the accessibility platform which has a very wide path for people to get through with a wheelchair, mobility scooter and for it to not be too crowded. With plenty of staff at the entrance and main gate to the festival, there is always someone to help you.

The accessibility platforms are divided into two levels.

The Upper Level Viewing Area (Main Stage) – for wheelchair users and other impairment groups for whom the Ground Level Viewing area is not suitable; and their PAs if required.

Ground Level Viewing Area at The Great Oak Stage (Main Stage)
This is a hard standing, ground level area for customers with disabilities who wish to stand for the event, but need a less crowded area and/or the option of sitting for short periods of time.
There will not be an unrestricted sight line of the stage when seated in this area, as there will be customers in front of the Ground Level Viewing Area who are likely to be standing up.

The roof of the accessibility platform was, as far as I could tell only for VIP holders, the accessibility area could have benefitted from more of a roof area as it was extremely hot and not everyone can move nor wish to for risk of loosing their seats/space.

The accessible toilets were just behind the platform by the accessibility entrance.There were also accessibility toilets at every toilet point throughout the park.

The merchandise desk had a wheelchair height counter which I thought was an excellent addition and meant for a separate queue too. Some of the food outlets also had this, however, most were quite low in the first instance.

On the accessibility platforms by the main stage there was plenty of space to move around for those in need of doing so. There were spaces to lean against if needed, however, one member of staff seemed to be untrained on the fact that there are invisible disabilities and questioned people in an unprofessional manner. The rest of the staff were excellent and were very helpful, kind and approachable which was needed. Staff also would get drinks for those who needed it which I found was a very nice touch, especially being such a large, crowded event.

A smaller accessibility platform was by the Barclaycard stage and had a great view and easy to get to.

Everyone I spoke to was incredibly happy with how they were treated, their seats and more, however the people who were approached by that one staff member were incredibly distressed. Said staff member also asked them to move to the far end where view wasn’t as great so that late arrivals could sit in their seats. Arguing that they arrived first so should get better seats, they still had to move. Following it up, I was informed that the people who were moved were non accessibility ticket holders and as the platform was sold out, the event staff did accommodate them but had to honour the best seats for ticket holders.

From what I could see and from what I discussed with guests, a roof over the platform was the main issue and very much needed. Other than that, everyone seemed happy. Could it accommodate more people? Possibly…but it was large enough as it was. (Trying to find out numbers but in the 100’s for sure).

Accessibility Ticket includes:
• General Admission entry through the main gate or accessible entrance gate
• Access to an extensive range of bars, food traders in the main arena
• Right to use accessible toilets, which are located at every toilet block at the event
• A reserved place on the Viewing Platform at the Great Oak Stage.
On presenting your ticket, a pass providing access to the above will be provided at the Accessible Customer Service Hub located inside the event, on presenting ticket and proof of disability.
Personal Assistant Pass for Viewing Platform / Ground Level Viewing Area (Main Stage)
• This pass is limited to one per paying customer and is provided free of charge at the time of booking event tickets for the two accessible areas listed above.
• The pass is issued at the Accessible Customer Service Hub, located inside the event on presenting the Personal Assistant Ticket.
• The Personal Assistant pass is interchangeable during the event, so if customers come in a group it can be swapped with other members of the party.
In order to accommodate as many fans with access needs as possible at BST Hyde Park, we are unable to sell additional tickets for friends or family to gain entry to our two accessible areas, so please bear this in mind when booking your ticket.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO BOOK A FREE PA PASS FOR ANY OTHER TICKET TYPE (SUCH AS GENERAL ADMISSION OR THE VIP SUMMER GARDEN) THIS IS ALWAYS AN OPTION (SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY), BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE VIA PHONE/EMAIL USING THE BELOW CONTACT DETAILS.

Blue Badge Parking
• Blue Badge Parking ticket is limited to one per paying customer, subject to availability.
• It is provided free of charge at the time of booking event tickets,
• The Blue Badge Parking ticket is valid with presentation of a blue badge, matching Photo ID and event ticket on arrival

Revised Booking System
As of 2018, ticket holders have the opportunity to provide their evidence of disability in advance. The advantages of this are that people will not need to bring their private documents with them on the day and it will also enable the festival to build a database of accepted evidence so that they don’t need to resubmit in future years.

The closing date for submitting evidence is Friday 8thJune 2018. You can download the Supporting Document Form here
In Attitude is Everything’s State of Access Report 2018 – Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park was one of the listed venues/events that were praised by customers in their Access Booking Servey.

Viewing Platform Improvements
Following customer feedback, the Barclaycard Stage Viewing Platform is now in an improved location and has an improved access route as well as better access to nearby accessible toilets. Roving vendors for drinks service on Main Stage viewing platform will continue after last year’s trialled success.

British Sign Language (BSL)
This year Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park has improved its BSL provision. Taking last year’s feedback on board, they will be improving the visibility and quality of the screen-in-screen display, as well as making the interpreters more visible at the side of stage.

Hearing Impairments
Promoted for 2018 is a Typetext service for those with hearing impairments who wish to contact a member of our customer service team by phone. This can accessed be via our dedicated Typetext number 18001 0203 481 55 06. A text relay assistant will relay the phone conversation between you and the person you’re calling or who is calling you.

Ticketing Without Barriers
AEG Presents are proud to be a founding member of the new Ticketing Without Barriers coalition launched by Attitude is Everything. We pledge to work together on industry-leading solutions to ensure an equal ticketing experience for Deaf and Disabled Audiences. For more information please click HERE.

Festival Director, Jim King says,We are proud to be the first UK event to receive the Silver Level of the Charter in their first year, and we further this progress by announcing that we are a founding member of the new Ticketing Without Barriers with Attitude is Everything. We hope to continue to make events inclusive to everyone.”

British Summer Time Hyde Park caters for all access requirements. Guests are able to enjoy three accessible viewing areas over two stages and exclusive wandering vendors, all of which can also be enjoyed with a friend or family member with the use of an interchangeable, free Personal Assistant Pass. Expanding upon the ‘Quiet Space’ facility, one of the main objectives for 2018 is to make sure that the festival is inclusive for those with invisible disabilities. British Summer Time Hyde Park are maintaining their award winning accessibility services with their Accessibility route video, Hearing induction Loops, Accessible toilets with hoist and British Sign Language Performance Interpreter for all Great Oak Stage performances when requested.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: https://youtu.be/0Y7lr_RsvQ0

Tickets and information:
http://www.bst-hydepark.com
facebook.com/BSTHydePark
@BSTHydepark

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