Access Provisions - An Evaluation: Movement Electronic Music Festival & Jazz Festival

Public facing information on current access provision are located only in the event website’s FAQ page. Inquiries are directed to a general email address. When events provide little to no information, the Disability community perceives the event to be inaccessible assuming they cannot attend.

Public facing information on current access provision are located only in the event website’s FAQ page. Inquiries are directed to a general email address. When events provide little to no information, the Disability community perceives the event to be inaccessible assuming they cannot attend.

Throughout its history, Detroit’s arts and music culture has been a vehicle to bring people together, heal race relations, and foster inclusion. However, the resourceful, DIY nature of the events, often hosted in makeshift venues, present enormous challenges for disabled people to attend and enjoy. Decades of neglected physical infrastructure present their own challenges as obstructions in our physical environment seem sometimes impossible to address.

Detroit is the birthplace of Techno, a community near and dear to my heart. Each year, the city hosts Movement Electronic Music Festival and the largest free Jazz Festival in the country at Hart Plaza, a site with its own important history and significance. In 2018, I teamed up with a person from Paxahau’s operations team to identify pain points and recommend both short term and long term improvement strategies so more disabled patrons can participate in the festival in upcoming years. My own experience managing chronic pain played a major role in how I experienced the event, unique to my previous 9-years in attendance.  My long term goals are to ensure Detroit’s night economy becomes more inclusive of people with disabilities.

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Accessible cable ramps only deployed in low density areas

Some where connected paths are obstructed by environmental barriers.

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Intentional seating exclusively available to VIP guests

*Photo belongs to Red Bull

My Evaluation broke down:

  • A strategy to engage the Disability community in pre-planning efforts, and connecting with patrons with disability attending the festival

  • Multimodal mobility, entry, pick up & drop off

  • Access to restrooms, vendors, food, and lockers

  • Marketing enhancements

  • Environmental & equipment obstructions

  • Intentional & makeshift seating and shelter

  • Signage & way-finding

  • Pathways & lighting

  • Accessible viewing platforms

  • Assistive & adaptive technologies

  • + more