5,000 music fans gathered at Coburg’s Velodrome in Melbourne’s North to watch an all-inclusive festival raising money for children living with disabilities across the country. Ability Fest’s debut raised just shy of $200,00 for the cause and made massive waves throughout the music industry. The action packed day was headlined by a back-to-back set from Flight Facilities and Client Liaison, followed with electrifying acts including Kingswood and Tkay Maidza.
The groundbreaking day was pulled off with ease with the help of Triple J host & Paralympian Dylan Alcott— who is an avid music lover & and incredibly influential voice for Disabled people.
Alcott told Triple J Hosts Ben & Liam that “I keep bloody tearing up thinking about it because it was one of the most special days I was involved in”
“Nobody cared about their race, gender, sexual orientation, and most importantly, their disability. I had so many people with disabilities come up to me and it was the first time they’d been to a festival with their family and friends, in tears, saying thank you.”
Young people who have been affected with a disability sang Alcott total praises throughout and following the successful day. A young man shared with Triple J his experience with his disabled sister, saying that “It was her first festival and I don’t she’s ever going to top it.”
In response to the success of the launch, Untitled Group co-director Nick Greco, the event organisers and Dylan have decided to make Ability Fest an annual event from 2019.
@abilityfest was without a doubt one of the most magical days of my life. I am lost for words as to how special and amazing the vibe was, and it was all because of every single one of you who came and supported. Big love to the @untitledgroupau who are some of the greatest people I have ever met and made a dream become a reality, the @dylanalcottfoundation team, every artist, every supplier, the Velodrome, volunteers, the AUSLAN interpreters (how effing good were they!!) and every single person who donated their time, I cannot thank you enough.. To see people with disabilities who had never been to a music festival in tears saying it was best day of their life, it makes me well up just thinking about it. Let’s all keep pushing for an inclusive society, because being inclusive changes lives. Love you all so much! Xx 📸 @flayvaaa @kateshanasy @jackson_gallagher_ #abilityfest
“I’m very grateful to Dylan for giving us the opportunity to work with him to fulfil the dream of his to create an inclusive music festival and to work with him to help normalise disability and Ability Fest will be back in 2019 even bigger than this year’s first event,” Nick Greco told triple j.
Alcott said “I think able-bodied people sometimes take for granted just the simple things in life and I’m lucky that I’ve always got to do things like this but I know for millions of people out there they might not have ever had that opportunity and that’s why we did it, for moments like that because everybody deserves to have fun and everybody deserves to enjoy music.”
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