Shambala aims to be a festival which everyone can enjoy. Please find a host of useful information regarding accessibility below. Please direct all ticket related enquiries to The Ticket Sellers from the contact us page.
Services for people with disabilities throughout the festival are managed by the team that runs the Accessible Camping Area, known as the ACA. You do not have to be camping in the ACA to use our services or to contact us for help and advice. We know that accurate information is vital and we do our best to tell what you need to plan your festival and to keep you moving around site. There is a lot of general information below but if you have a problem that is not covered please contact us using the form here http://www.shambalafestival.org/contact-us/ under Accessibility and we will do our best to help. At the festival we can be contacted via the Info Point. We also produce a leaflet with details of services for Deaf and disabled visitors which will be available from the Info Point and the Welcome Tent and we also keep a board with information about site conditions and other issues in the ACA. Please do come to see us even if you don’t feel you have to camp with us, the more we know about the problems people have around site and the services you would like to see, the more we can help everyone enjoy the festival.
Please remember that we do our best to help, but we have found that the biggest factor in having a great time at a festival when you have a disability is the planning that you do yourself. Think through every aspect of how you will live on a campsite on a daily basis and plan ahead. The information below will help you, but if you need more specific advice, or are not used to festivals and are not sure what to expect, contact us and we will try to advise you.
If you register to camp in the ACA you will be put on our mailing list to receive information and updates on accessibility at Shambala. If you are not camping in the ACA you can also receive the bulletins by emailing us via the contacts page and asking to be added to our mailing list.
We offer a free carer ticket for a Personal Assistant if you receive Middle or Higher Rate DLA or the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), are aged 18+ and would not be able to come to the festival without assistance. This ticket must be purchased over the phone 0844 870 0000. Proof of DLA or PIP support must be provided on entry. For clarification of eligibility for free carer tickets please contact the ticket agents via the contacts page.
Accessibility around the Festival
Most of the main site is flat and easily accessible in good weather. In wet weather some areas do get muddy. We provide trackway over the worst areas but in previous years people have had problems with some wheelchairs over the whole site. We do our best to keep everyone moving but do be aware that this is an open air event in a grassy field and we cannot guarantee the ground conditions. We do keep an Information Board in the ACA with details of any problems as soon as we know about them.
The Wilderness Woodland does have areas of rougher ground amongst the trees which may cause difficulties for some chairs and scooters even in good weather, and the path is a gravel surface which can be difficult for wheelchair users. At night, light levels are often fairly low as part of the art installations and the area can become quite crowded, again this may cause difficulties for some people. There are no toilets in this area.
The Healing Area is in a meadow with long grass. Access to this area is via a series of ramped bridges and pathways that may also degrade in very bad weather. There are composting toilets with steps but no accessible toilets in this area.
There will be seats available around the site and in most of the major venues.
We are afraid that we don’t have any wheelchairs or mobility scooters that we can lend out. If you can walk short distances but tire easily, you may want to consider hiring one and bringing it with you in case you need it.
If you use sticks or crutches consider how they will work in mud or soft ground, some people use special attachments to help them.
There will be a viewing platform at the main stage which will be stewarded during performance times. We do understand that you would like to have your friends, family and carers with you but we do ask that you bring a maximum of two people with you and that they move off the platform if it becomes crowded so that other people with disabilities can use it as a priority. There will be some chairs available on this platform. The platform is stewarded and you and your guests will need a wristband which you can get from either the Accessible Camping Area or the Info Point.
Some of the larger tents and marquees will also have a viewing area marked out – further details will be available onsite.
Toilets and Showers
Each of the major toilet blocks has an accessible toilet and there are also some in the ACA. These will be locked with RADAR locks in order to keep them clean. Please bring your own RADAR key if you have one as we only have a small number available to lend out (for a deposit). These will be given out on a priority basis so please do let us know in advance if you need one. Please see The Radar Shop http://www.radar-shop.org.uk/Detail.aspx?id=0 for further information on the RADAR scheme and how to apply for your own key. Please note that for 2013 we have expanded the number of accessible toilets and we plan to have them in all the camping areas, including Family Camping. At least one of the toilets in the ACA will have a medical waste disposal facility.
There is an accessible shower in the ACA.
Large-print Maps and Programmes
We will have large-print version of maps, the timetable and our leaflet on accessibility at Shambala available at the Info Point.
We have a BSL interpreter available on call during the festival to help you. You can contact her through the Info Point or the ACA Team or let us know in advance by email through the contacts page.
We are aware that many people have to take prescription medication that needs to be kept chilled and/or secure. We supply a medical fridge and safe storage onsite. You will need to have your medication in a sealed container with your name clearly labelled on it and you will be asked to sign it in and out.
There is a tent in the ACA with 13A sockets to recharge wheelchairs. You do not have to be camping with us to use this, just come to see us and we will give you a wristband so you or your PA can come in whenever you need to.
Accessible Camping Area (ACA)
The area is a flat camping area close to the main festival site with a layout to allow clear access into tents. It is intended for those with impaired mobility or visual disability or those who would find it difficult to camp in the main public areas. Demand for spaces in the ACA is increasing so please do apply in advance of the festival by using the form below before August 1st or we may not be able to guarantee you a place, particularly if you are hoping to bring a live-in vehicle such as a camper or caravan. Please also note that ACA applications close on 1st August to enable us to provide the correct information to users in advance. Sometimes people get to the festival and only then realise that they need to camp in the ACA, if that happens then please come to see us and we will try to help but we will not be able to move your vehicle, and this is dependent on space available.
You will still have to purchase the appropriate pass for your vehicle whether it is a car or a live-in vehicle and these passes are limited. Please note that Live-in Vehicle passes always run out first.
The ACA is located close to the main Shambala Stage and arena. The area is flat with vehicle access mostly via hard standing, although you will have to drive onto grass to get onto the ACA itself. There will be accessible toilets and showers and a wheelchair charging point inside a marquee. It is not in a public area, access is controlled by wristband and there will be 24-hour stewarding so it is quieter than the public areas in terms of people passing, however it is near to the main stage and late-night venues so there is music noise at night. If you are worried about the noise but want to camp in the ACA, our visitors have found disposable earplugs useful in previous years.
We can accommodate tents, camper vans and caravans in the ACA, but please note we can only accept vehicles up to a maximum of 6m in length as there is quite a tight turn to negotiate from the track onto the campsite. Any vehicle larger than this will have to be parked in the public Live-in Field which is approximately 200m further from the main arena.
Unlike the rest of the public areas, we allow you to bring your car up to the campsite to unload your gear, however please note that we do not allow cars to be parked next to tents for safety reasons. We do have a small number of car parking spaces very close by (across a fire lane) for those who really need their cars close to their tents throughout the festival and there will be other parking spaces a short distance away again for the rest.
Groups are limited to 4 people (that is one person with disabilities and three guests or carers) including children over 12. If you would like to camp in a larger group you are welcome to camp in the public camping areas and then come to the ACA to use the accessible facilities.
The rules on fires are the same in the ACA as elsewhere onsite – you can see them on this page http://www.shambalafestival.org/essential-info/camping-and-onsite-services/, however we also have our own communal fire for everyone to use.
Please see the application form for the ACA at the bottom of this page.
Camping in the other areas
You are of course free to camp in any of the public areas. If you are not sure whether you should use the ACA or would be better in one of the public areas, please do contact us and we will try to advise you. Some of the quietest areas are up a sloping field with no hard-standing or trackway, but there are also flat areas, particularly in Family Camping which is fairly close to the main public entrance. You will not be allowed to drive vehicles onto any of the public camping areas, there are no exceptions to this, but please email us about your needs and we will try to advise you. Shambala does have some wheelbarrows which you can hire for a deposit to help move gear from the public parking areas. If you have a Blue Badge you can ask to park in one of our accessible parking spaces closest to the entrance (subject to availability).
Another issue to consider, particularly if you are not used to festivals, is that people do pack their tents in very close together, much closer than on a private campsite. If you need clear access to your tent door for a wheelchair, or if you have a visual impairment, you may find it easier to camp in the ACA where we can offer a space that gives a clear access route. If you would still like to camp in the public area we would advise you to try to place your entrance directly onto a fire lane, otherwise you may get back to your tent to find someone has inadvertently blocked your access.
Wherever you camp the ACA Team is available to advise you on the terrain and facilities so please do contact us. Once onsite you can contact us via the Info Point.
If you would like to camp in the public areas, but still need to use the facilities in the ACA (for example the wheelchair recharging) you are free to do so. Contact us once you are onsite and we will advise you.
APPLYING for the Accessible Camping Area (ACA)
If after reading the information above you feel that you need to camp in the ACA please fill out the application form at the bottom of the page as soon as possible. All information will be kept in compliance with the Data Protection Act. When you apply you will added you to our mailing list to receive information and updates about accessibility at Shambala.
Please note that use of the ACA is separate from the application for a free carer ticket for a Personal Assistant, you would still need to fill out the form to apply for space in the ACA. You do not have to camp in the ACA if you have received a free ticket, and should only do so if you feel you need the facilities to help you enjoy your visit to Shambala. Similarly if you do not qualify for a two-for-one ticket but feel you need to use the ACA you can still register for a place.
The ACA is for use by people who are disabled under the terms of the Equality Act 2010. Temporary injuries and pregnancy are not regarded as disability. If you are not sure if you qualify, please email us and we will try to advise you.
Crew, Traders and Artists
The above information is written with visitors in mind, but also applies to all members of the Shambala crew, traders and any artists performing at the festival. If you are a member of one of these groups and feel you need to camp in the ACA or use any of our facilities then please contact us using the contact form here http://www.shambalafestival.org/contact-us/ (choose Accessibility) and we will advise you. Please note that crew, artist and trader passes do not give vehicle access to the ACA and you must contact us in advance to make sure you have the right accreditation.
Queries & Questions
Please direct any ticket related queries directly to our ticket agents. We will not be able to reply to any eligibility questions regarding free carer tickets directly.
Any other questions can be directed to the Accessibility email found on the contact page.