Winners of Accessible Edinburgh Festivals Awards 2017 announced

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Euan’s Guide celebrates the spirit of inclusion and venues with outstanding disabled access at Edinburgh’s festivals. Now in its second year, The Accessible Edinburgh Festivals Award celebrates the most accessible and inclusive venues associated with Edinburgh’s major festivals.

Edinburgh International Book Festival staff

Edinburgh International Book Festival scooped two prizes. Photograph: Euan’s Guide

Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website and charity behind the awards, are delighted to announce this year’s winners as the Royal Lyceum Theatre (Most Accessible Large Permanent Venue), Scottish Storytelling Centre (Most Accessible Small Permanent Venue) and Edinburgh International Book Festival (Most Accessible Pop-up Venue and the Euan’s Guide Spirit of Inclusion Award).

Disabled festival-goers have been attending shows and sharing their feedback and reviews of accessible venues on the Euan’s Guide website throughout August. The judging panel took into consideration reviewer comments and selected the winners from a shortlist of highly commended venues. Euan’s Guide are delighted to present the 2017 Award Winners with certificates recognising their commitment to accessibility and welcome to disabled people.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre hosted numerous Edinburgh International Festival performances this year. It was commended for the range and quality of disabled access information available before visiting, its front of house service and its commitment to providing alternative formats for performances including live audio description, touch tours, BSL, captioned and relaxed performances.

David Greig, Artistic Director at Royal Lyceum Theatre said:

“I’m thrilled The Lyceum has been recognised by Euan’s Guide. I’m so proud of our work and want to share it with everyone. That’s why we’re always striving to improve our access to the theatre and to create an inclusive experience of the plays we make. This award is a tribute to the welcome our Front of House team provide and I hope it also encourages more people to come to The Lyceum in future.” 

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is an Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue that delighted judges by creating an accessible experience out of a magical blend of old and new. With a warm welcome, great space and accessible facilities, the experience was described as subtle but made all the difference for an enjoyable visit. 

Lindsay Corr, Marketing and Communications Manager at The Scottish Storytelling Centre remarked:

“The Scottish Storytelling Centre strives to be an inclusive and welcoming venue for all, so we are all absolutely delighted to be awarded Small Venue Winner from Euan’s Guide”. 

Yet again proving to be one of the city’s most accessible festival venues (Accessible Edinburgh Festival Award winner in 2016), The Edinburgh International Book Festival scooped two awards in this year’s judging. Awarded Most Accessible Pop-up Venue, the tented village impressed judges with its accessible environment of boardwalks, grass matting, accessible seating positions and the best pop-up accessible toilet facilities of the festivals. The pop-up venue also received the Euan’s Guide Spirit of Inclusion Award this year.

Paul Ralph, Director of Access and Inclusion at Euan’s Guide explains:

“Participation in the events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was and indeed felt very inclusive for everyone, no matter what their access preferences. The notable characteristic was the staff and their spirit of inclusion. Nothing was too much trouble, the whole site was accessible, and the enthusiasm to make visitors feel welcome infectious. On so many levels, the ‘Book Festival’ has gone beyond addressing the environmental access and succeeded in not only being accessible, but being inclusive with a welcome for everyone.” 

Sophie Moxon, Executive Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival said:

“Improving accessibility is fundamental to everything we do at the Book Festival and our team who build the festival in Charlotte Square Gardens and our new Garden extension onto George Street have worked hard to create an environment that is welcoming for all our visitors. We strive to be innovative and to take advantage of the latest technology, and this year have been delighted with the response to our new live subtitling of events in the Main Theatre. We are thrilled to receive these awards from Euan’s Guide which recognise the Book Festival team’s work in this field.”