Fran and I were coming home from a great day at the Cambridge Folk Festival yesterday. It’s our second visit here. We came last year and found it to be really disability friendly. It’s a compact site with good access and it’s quite easy to get around. We also found the staff to be brilliant and the atmosphere really chilled.
Last night however, we were coming home and called into the festival tent to get a programme. As we were walking away there was a reference made to us being ‘window lickers.’ Luckily at the time I didn’t realise what was going on but Fran most certainly did and was shaking with rage. She finally explained to me and I was livid.
Thankfully, situations like this are still relatively rare. We’re used to being stared at when we go out and about. Human nature is that we focus on difference and that is fine. However, the incident described isn’t.
Situations like this though always make me feel conflicted. I hope by now dear readers you’ll have read a few blogs and realise that we try to get on with life and make the best (and most!) of it. I have a worry about not being a person with a chip on his shoulders and sometimes you just have to rise above it.
Posting what happened on Facebook drew an instant reaction of shock and empathy from my friends. So do I report it? It’s also important to emphasise that the festival as a whole is brilliant, as are the staff. Do I just put this down as a rogue individual?
Is this ignorance on the part of the individual? Were they trying to be malicious, funny…? Is this ignorance (if that is what this is) so ingrained that reporting it won’t change anything?
I raise all of this to help highlight the issues that sometimes are faced, and the questions raised. I’m still not sure what the answers are.
Two things are for sure though. We won’t let it spoil the festival, and we still have our heads held high.
N.B. This is a much shorter blog than normal as I typed it on my phone! Apologies for any poor spelling or grammar!!:)
Update: Since this blog I have spoken directly with Folk Festival staff. They were v apologetic. I have also offered to engage with the festival longer term on disability related issues, which is a positive outcome:)