The organisers of the region’s “festival for everyone” has launched a major funding campaign and has called on the region to get behind the award-winning event.
Gateshead’s Chase Park Festival, one of the highlights of the North East’s summer festival calendar, has unveiled a Crowdfunding campaign in a bid to secure its future and continue its amazing work of ensuring live music is accessible for disabled fans and musicians alike.
The event, which is one of only three festivals in the United Kingdom to boast a Gold Level of Access by leading disability charity Attitude is Everything, went independent for its last gathering in August and has urged the region’s businesses and the public to make sure it establishes itself as one of the nation’s most forward thinking festivals by donating online.
Alistair McDonald, Chase Park Festival organiser, explains: “Chase Park Festival relies very heavily on North East music fans to help the event keep going. We have had great support previous years from local companies and partners such as the Percy Hedley Foundation but in order to make sure we can keep bringing the festival back each year we need to consider other ways of funding the event.
“The inspiration of launching a Crowdfunding Campaign came from a number of the performers who played on our second stage, which is designed to give musicians with disabilities a platform to grow and develop their careers.
“One of our regularly featured disabled bands, The Soundbeams, headlined the second stage this year and they revelled in it, they were hanging out with amazing groups like the nationally acclaimed Reverend and The Makers backstage and they have told me they want to play at Glastonbury next year. “The festival is much more than just a one-day event now and I need to look at other ways to fund it, which will allow other musicians with disabilities to perform in future years.”
Chase Park, which is set to take part once more in August 2017, has confirmed it will have a range of additional costs next year if it’s to cement its position as the region’s only fully inclusive event. The festival wants to inject the funds it receives to raise its game further and hopes to provide its strongest line-up yet along with a commitment to providing a platform for the region’s emerging musical talent.
It also wants to revamp of its current facilities which already includes trackways for disabled people along with accessible toilets, staging and access ramps. “Chase Park Festival is pretty much the only event of its kind and it’s based here in the North East,” adds Alistair. “It is one of the most accessible festivals in the country and we want to be able to keep it coming back. People in the North East are well known for their community spirit and we really need people to help us keep the event coming back.
“We are very much in the planning stage for next year’s event but are aiming to have our biggest line up so far, as well as making plans to support previous artists to get on the road and develop their careers in the music industry. “In the long term, I would like to see the event get bigger and really give disabled musicians a step up. My aim is to grow to a stage where the festival is part of a wider organisation that helps remove the barriers to people with disabilities enjoying festivals and becoming professional musicians.”
Chase Park Festival’s Crowdfunding campaign is now underway and to make a donation people should visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/chase-park-festival.