Love and laughs at Lolla!
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
This amazing 2-day festival is located on the edge of Paris in Longchamps Hippodrome Racecourse. There was a wide range of different genres from dance to Indie. I saw Kodaline, Jain, 21 Pilots, Martin Garrix, Mo, Bad Bunny, Biffy Clyro, the1975 and the Strokes; they were all brilliant in different ways but 21 Pilots were best for me! A negative was that I had to book the accessible viewing platform and parking in advance and they were supposed to send me info about disabled parking and access before I went but despite E-mailing them three times, the info never arrived. We had to phone to find out which entrance to go to eventually but once inside, members of the charity PSH treated me and my party like VIP's and escorted us all the way into the festival; golf buggies were available to take you in if you needed them and parking was very secure and on-site. Staff were very helpful, friendly and kind. Red Cross tents also let me come in for a stretch out and a lie down when I needed to and coordinated with security to access an alternative pathway through secure areas to the viewing platforms rather than push through huge crowds; staff were all fantastic. There was also a lovely picnic chill-out area with trees, water, a silent disco and children's play areas. The viewing platform was accessed via a long but manageable ramp. I had initially thought that the viewing platforms would be too far away from the stages but I couldn't have been more wrong and I had a great view, another bonus was that officially, only 1 PA could access the platform with me but as there were not many wheelchair festival goers using the viewing platforms, security said that the rest of my party (6) could go up too and this made a much better more inclusive atmosphere. There was plenty room for dancing and the other wheelchair users had their crews up too. There were only viewing platforms for the two main stages but as the crowds were smaller at the other two stages, I still had a great view. I always felt safe and able to access help if I needed it as all staff (and festival-goers) I met were lovely.
Transport & Parking
On-site disabled parking was really good and secure but I've only given 4 stars because of the other transport options available to the site. There were buses and the Metro was also available too from central Paris. My other able-bodied friends took the Metro and said that it was inaccessible due to the crowds, broken lifts, stairs and there was a very long walk to the Metro due to the way the police were diverting the crowd.
Access was much better than I could have dreamt (it was a field after all) and I was able to access everywhere. There were small areas of sand and uneven ground and I got stuck a couple of times but fellow festival-goers and staff always rushed to help me and I was very touched by that. There were also some parts of the plastic walk-ways where the lip was too steep for me to negotiate without assistance, again, people rushed from all directions to help, on the whole though, access was great. It was roasting and so no mud for most of the day and when it poured at night on the first day, I still had no problem manoeuvring in and out of areas.
There were basic festival accessible toilets but everyone was using them and I noticed that wheelchair users were being overtaken in the queue, however, on the second day my P.A. pointed out that there was someone guarding one of the disabled toilets to ensure that they were being used appropriately.
All the staff I met from security to the charity PHS, Red Cross and everyone inside were very helpful, kind and friendly. I was welcomed by PHS and they made me feel included and safe without being overly-protective; they struck exactly the right balance. The whole event really represented music for everyone both literally and metaphorically!
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I would definitely recommend this to everyone and I can't say enough good things about it; the only real negative were the transport links if in a wheelchair and if you didn't have a car, which was outwith the festival's control. This was a birthday celebration for me and it was a memory that I'll treasure forever, thank you Team Lolla!!!!