Sitdown Café launched at Amsterdam Open Air festival

Sitdown Café gelanceerd op festival Amsterdam Open Air

The Sitdown Café was launched at the Amsterdam Open Air festival on 1 June. Here, people with and without disabilities can meet each other. This playful café is a collaboration between Amsterdam Open Air and HandicapNL, which launched the Accessible Festivals project in 2019. With this, the foundation helps festival organisers improve their accessibility.

Many festivals have already taken steps in recent years to make their facilities more accessible, such as adjustments to the grounds and toilets. Yet people with disabilities still experience barriers to participating at festivals, when this is exactly what they need. That is why HandicapNL’s focus within Accessible Festivals this year is on stimulating encounters between people with and without disabilities. The Sitdown Café facilitates these encounters in an environment that lends itself ideally to this. After all, people come to a festival to enjoy the atmosphere, share a love of music and meet others.

Meetings at par

Amsterdam Open Air stands for inclusiveness and diversity and is keen to contribute to promoting the accessibility of festivals for people with disabilities. Together with HandicapNL, the festival management set up the Sitdown Café, the place where people with and without disabilities can party, dance, laugh, drink, play and sing together on equal terms. In the café, you will find something for everyone: DJs with and without disabilities play cosy hits, while the barman has a chat with you and the host chats things up.

Sitdown Café gelanceerd op festival Amsterdam Open Air

Thanks to a staff mix of people with and without disabilities, a music interpreter for sign language and additional facilities such as Braille menu cards and an incentive-free room, the Sitdown Café becomes a truly inclusive environment where everyone is welcome. As the highlight of the evening, the roof lowers in a festive way, putting everyone – wheelchair user or not – at equal height. This allows them to meet at an equal height.

Sitdown Café gelanceerd op festival Amsterdam Open Air

Everyone welcome

With the Sitdown Café, HandicapNL and Amsterdam Open Air want to show that everyone is welcome at festivals. Moreover, the café contributes to increasing the social accessibility of both festivals and society as a whole. The possibilities offered by the café ensure that everyone, with and without disabilities, can enjoy a festival equally.

Moreover, at the Sitdown Café, festival-goers without disabilities can have an experience that changes their view of people with disabilities. This way, HandicapNL hopes that it will become as normal for someone with a disability to visit a festival as someone without a disability. And get a little closer to a world where everyone can dance together and visit their favourite artists. Every year, no fewer than 1,000 music festivals can be visited in the Netherlands.

More accessible festivals

Find more accessible festivals on the website of HandicapNL

Photos: Janneke Nooij

Source: Doe Onbeperkt Mee

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