Irish rockers Ash have been announced as headliners for the fifth Chase Park Festival an accessible music and arts festival showcasing emerging and established North East acts returning after a year out on Saturday 8th August 2015 at Chase Park Neuro Centre, Whickham, Gateshead, in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Chief vocalist and guitarist, Tim Wheeler, said, "We're really excited to be playing in the North East again. We've never had the pleasure of playing a big festival up there unless you count the minimum wage gig we did in 1999 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. We should do one soon for a living wage! This event will be special. Bring on Chase Park 2015!"
The family-friendly, open-air festival will feature two stages of live music from acts including Turin Brakes, Slug, Monogram, Blizzard, Hot Soles, Gallery Circus, Beth Macari, Hulkenberg, and MC Crazy Legs.
The festival was created by student Paul Belk who was left in a wheelchair after his drink was spiked, who aims to create an event for wheelchair users and disabled people, though he wants it to be viewed like any other festival.
Eight years ago whilst backpacking around Thailand and Laos his drink was spiked by morphine by two men who robbed him and left him in a coma in the street. Paul spent much of his rehabilitation in Chase Park Neuro Centre, and decided to host the event there.
The event became the first outdoor festival in the UK to receive Silver Accreditation by Attitude is Everything for being an arts event accesssible and inclusive for deaf and disabled people.Last time saw it achieve the Gold level of Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice, one of only three festivals nationwide to receive the accolade.
Chase Park Festival, is run by healthcare and neuro-rehabilitation specialist Keiro, who secured significant funding from the Arts Council.
Chase Park's Festival Organiser Alistair McDonald said, "We have an amazing line-up and I think anyone who is a music fan will have a great time. The event will also to appeal to people with disability as we have a range of provisions in place.
"Chase Park has great music, food, beer, fantastic green surroundings and all of the ingredients that makes an amazing festival. It also has a unique atmosphere that you simply don’t get anywhere else. The feeling of community and togetherness that you get from an event that doesn’t have any barriers genuinely gives festival goers at Chase Park a totally uplifting and amazing experience.
"Achieving Gold Standard from Attitude is Everything is an amazing achievement and to be mentioned in the same breath as Glastonbury and Liberty Festival is something else. This should also give smaller festivals the confidence that they can achieve a fully-inclusive and superb event like ours."
The whole idea behind the event is to be inclusive for everyone regardless of ability. Factors such as remote locations, high expense, access and poor facilities can often mean many mainstream outdoor music festivals can often exclude people with disabilities. Chase Park Festival also aims to helping break down cultural barriers and stereotypes often associated with people with disabilities by engaging with the whole community. The festival uses music as the foundation to get people from all walks of life together to enjoy a fun-packed carnival atmosphere.
Using special raised trackways the event is accessible to all and enables people to get to the stage whatever the weather, There is also a drop-off point that aids access to the stage, and to specialised mobility equipment should it be needed.
Expect also a holistic therapy tent, craft stalls, face painting, and an array of food and drink.
Tickets are free to people with disability (who need it to be) and their carers / support workers but other tickets are priced £6, or £10 for a family (2 adults and up to 4 kids).
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