Welcome to Folk Weekend!
At Folk Weekend we believe the arts are for everyone, and we are committed to developing our own practice in making our festival as accessible and welcoming as possible. Our aim is a festival where everyone feels welcome to *any* event, and where accessible practice becomes the norm; signed song performances sit in the main festival programme, and you can choose your workshops from 'Beginners melodeon' to 'Singing with a VOCA'.
We are developing our accessibility practice all the time, but we are very much still learning as we go. If there is more information that you need, any particular events you'd like to see, or anything else you would expect to see on this page or at the festival please get in touch with Festival Director Cat McGill and let us know.
About the Festival site:
Folk Weekend is a city-centre festival; we use existing spaces in the centre of Oxford, so all of our venues are indoors, and accessible by road or pavement. There are seven main festival venues (listed below) which you can view on the map on this page. Please see Parking info below for details on disabled parking in Oxford. On foot, all of our festival venues are within a mile of each other. You can buy or collect tickets from any ticketed venue so there is no need to go to a specific ticket collection point.
Before the festival:
Carers / Personal Assistants
We don't have any viewing platforms available in the venues, but if you are a wheelchair user and are able to give us notice of the events you wish to attend we can ensure that you are supported to enjoy the event as best as possible.
Events held at the St Aldates Tavern are up a flight of stairs in the function room, and are not wheelchair-accessible. Please accept our apologies for this.
Planning your visit to Oxford:
Parking in Oxford
Thanks to Oxford University for this downloadable leaflet and map with Blue Badge parking spaces in Oxford.
There is some information on the Oxford City Council website regarding disability and access in Oxford, or you can download their Accessible Oxford guide or ring Oxfordshire County Council on 01865 815700 for information or Oxford City Council Access officer on 01865 249811 or contact the Access Officer by email.
The new Westgate shopping centre is accessible to wheelchair users including the parking, with disabled spaces on all levels, and Shopmobility. Gloucester Green underground car park is not accessible to wheelchair users. Click here for information on City Centre car parks.
There is a Changing Places toilet on the top floor of the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford city centre.This toilet is free to use, and does not require a Radar key. It is accessible by lift, with standard toilets available in the same area.
There are standard accessible (public) toilets in Gloucester Green, and some more information on the City Council website about other toilets around the city centre.
We have included information about accessible toilets for each venue below (please note these are all 'standard' disabled toilets, not Changing Places toilets). This is being regularly updated as we find out more information, so please keep checking back or get in touch with any questions.
At the Festival:
Tickets will be issued by each individual promoter or organisation, and they will give you instructions on how and when you can collect them.
Questions / Queries
If you have any particular questions or need any more information throughout the weekend, please ask one of our volunteer stewards or venue staff. If you have questions they can't answer they will be able to get hold of Folk Weekend HQ to find out the information you need.
The festival programme is free, and if you require a large print version of the schedule it will be available on our website, or you can ask at any venue and they will supply you with one.
There is First Aid cover at each venue, but don't currently have any specialised medical provision for people with disabilities.
Access to Performances
Currently we do not have BSL interpretors or Audio Descriptions at our performances, though it's something we'd like to work towards in the future. If this is something you think you can help with please get in touch!
Assistance dogs are welcome in all venues. We do ask that you bring with you some proof that your dog is registered with an organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs UK.
There will be strobe lighting as part of the performances of The Portal at the North Wall Arts Centre. We do not expect there to be strobe lighting at any other event.
Festival Venues - will be updated with new venues as we have the information
Old Fire Station (workshops, concerts)
40 George Street, OX1 2AQ
There is a standard disabled toilet on the same level as the main theatre and studio.
There is level access to the gallery from the George Street entrance, and via a lift from the shop.
There is more information and a walk-through video on the OFS website: https://oldfirestation.org.uk/your-visit/
The Story Museum (concerts, storytelling)
42 Pembroke Street, OX1 1BP
All of the spaces, including galleries, café and gift and book shop, are fully accessible for wheelchair users. There are three lifts offering access to all floors.
Accessible toilets are located on the ground and first floor of the building, with one space offering changing facilities and a shower. Guide dogs and other assistance dogs are welcome.
More info is available on the Story Museum website here: https://www.storymuseum.org.uk/plan-your-visit/accessibility
North Wall Arts Centre (The Portal, interactive dance show)
South Parade, OX2 7JN
There is a drop kerb immediately outside the venue’s entrance – wheelchair users can park on the double yellow lines as long as a blue badge is clearly displayed.
The bar is situated in the foyer, on the right as you come through the main entrance. It is normally open 30 minutes before a performance, and during the interval. There is a drop-down counter at the far-end of the bar, close to the left-hand entrance of the auditorium.
Gentlemen’s and Disabled Toilets are in the foyer on the ground floor, and Ladies’ Toilets are on the 1st floor.
Wheelchairs can be accommodated in the auditorium – two spaces for wheelchair users are available for each performance. Please let the Box Office know of your requirements when booking.
The theatre is equipped with both induction loop and infra-red systems. Those who wish to use the infra-red system should collect a headset from the Box Office, and return it at the end of the performance.
Guide dogs are welcome in the auditorium. Please request an aisle seat when you book.
For more information see https://www.thenorthwall.com/your-visit/access/
St Barnabas Church (workshops, ceilidhs)
Cardigan Street, Jericho, OX2 6BG
Main entrance to the church is up three shallow steps, there is a fold up ramp available on request. Inside is level access to the church, bar, and accessible toilet.
Blue Room, St Aldates Tavern (sessions, concerts)
St Aldates, OX1 1BU
Access is through through the main bar and up two flights of stairs, there is no ramped or lift access. This venue is not accessible to wheelchair users - please accept our apologies.
Ashmolean Museum (Morris, Showcase Stage)
Beaumont Street, OX1 2PH
There is ramp access to the forecourt, and level access to the main building. The atrium is accessible by a flight of stairs or a lift.
There are three disabled toilets in the building.
For more information please see https://www.accessguide.ox.ac.uk/ashmolean-museum
Pitt Rivers Museum (Workshops)
Parks Road, OX1 3PW
There is level access into the Pitt Rivers from the University Museum of Natural History - a platform lift connects the entrance to the ground floor. (While the main entrance to the University Museum has steps, there is an alternative level entrance.) There is level access throughout the Pitt Rivers, and lift access to all floors. To preserve the exhibits, lighting levels are kept low. Magnifying glasses and torches are available on request.
Wheelchair users may find manoeuvring space is tight in some areas of the museum.
For more information see https://www.accessguide.ox.ac.uk/pitt-rivers-museum
Blackwell's Bookshop (Showcase Stage)
48-51 Broad Street, OX1 3BQ
There is ramped access through Music Shop frontage (far left side of the row of shops), then a lift or long flight of stairs down to next level. From the lift go down three steps with a handrail (or lift beside it) then gentle slope access into Norrington Room.
The room is a myriad of different levels, but all have short flight of stairs or ramp access except the lowest level which is only accessible by a flight of five stairs. Concerts will be in the lowest level but will be viewable from higher levels.
For more information please contact Blackwell's on 01865 792792.
The Crown PH (sessions)
59a Cornmarket Street OX1 3HB
Access through both entrances is up one large step, there is no ramped access. There are also no disabled toilets. This venue will only host informal sessions, and there are alternative session venues which are wheelchair accessible.
The Chequers PH (sessions)
131 High Street, OX1 4DH
The pub is wheelchair accessible (though space is a little tight for manoeuvring), and has a disabled toilet. For further info please call the Chequers on 01865 727463.
The Half Moon PH (sessions)
17 St Clement’s Street, OX4 1AB
There are no steps at the entrance, so the pub is accessible to wheelchairs through the double side doors. Space inside is very limited, and there is no disabled toilet.
Westgate Central Library (Showcase Stage)
Queen St, Westgate, Oxford OX1 1DJ
There is level access to the building, and inside is lift access to the main library and children's library, breakout room, and accessible toilet.
Cutteslowe Pavillion (Family Ceilidh)
Cutteslowe Park, OX2 8ES
There is ramp access to the hall, and it is level throughout. There is a disabled toilet. It is possible to drive right up to the hall to park if needed, but you will need to arrange this with the event organiser when you book tickets so that they can unlock the gate for you.
More information and photos can be found here: https://www.northoxfordassociation.co.uk/room-info/ and scroll down to the section on the Pavillion.
Headington Quarry Village Hall (ceilidh)
67 Quarry Road, OX3 8NX
The Castle PH (Gadarene gig)
2 Castle Street, OX1 1AY