Accessibility, Health & Safety

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival endeavors to make a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all. 

SAFER SPACES POLICY

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival Society is committed to providing a safe space for all, including marginalized and vulnerable segments of our population. It aspires to put on a leading folk music festival while embracing a vision of inclusivity. The EFMFS will nurture safer spaces where all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ability, socioeconomic status, religion, or other personal characteristics should feel safe, welcome, and valued.

Read our policy here.

ACCESSIBILITY

ACCESSIBILITY CREW
The Accessibility crew can answer questions, provide you with assistance and give you information about:
• a designated listening area for people in wheelchairs or with mobility issues,
• program schedules in Braille and large print,
• assistive-listening systems for the hard of hearing.

TICKET POLICY FOR AIDES
All people regardless of age who require the assistance of a personal aide, will be admitted with one ticket for the party of two concerned.

ACCESSIBLE ACCESS
• Limited Parking is available near the main gate (93 & 94 Streets, between 98 & 97 Avenues) for vehicles marked with official accessible parking sign.

• Drop off is available at the Main Gate for DATS and for those with your Alberta accessible parking placard.

• Accessibility crew volunteers are stationed at the main gate.
• People who use wheelchairs, mobility aids, or need accessible seating may listen to the artists in designated listening areas at the Main Stage, Stages 1, 3, 5, and 7.
• During the festival, 96 Avenue is available for those with limited mobility requiring paved access to the west side of the festival grounds. Please speak with one of our Access volunteers for details.
• In the event of inclement weather, volunteers will assist people off the site or to sheltered areas as quickly and safely as possible.

CALM TENT

Returning this year and in the spirit of acknowledging the diverse needs of our patrons, volunteers and musicians we will have a calm tent, hosted by Autism Edmonton. We value that our patrons, volunteers and musicians may be neurodivergent, and hope this addition is helpful.

Why a calm tent at the festival? Being in crowds can be overstimulating. The calm tent is an opportunity to have a moment of calm in a safe place. You'll find it tucked behind the Music and Merch tent. Stop by and learn about Autism Edmonton's programming.

HEARING
For festival folkies who require enhanced hearing services, there are:
• magnetic induction loops at all stages, and
• loop system receivers are available at the main stage and at all session stages, for those with no hearing aid or no T-switch. Receivers can be picked up and returned at the Information Tent. The magnetic induction loop system consists of an antenna placed beneath the sod in a 25-square-foot area in front of the stage.
• If you use a hearing aid equipped with a T-switch (telecoil), simply switch your aid to the “T” position.
• Then sit within 12 feet of the blue hearing-access signs located in the centre of each looped area.
• Your hearing aid will act as a receiver; no other equipment is required.
If you have any questions about hearing access, contact an Access crew volunteer through the Information Tent.
FM receivers and accessories will be available at the Information Booth. A credit card or driver’s license is required as a deposit.

VISUALLY IMPAIRED
If you have a visual impairment, please visit the Information Booth to request a workshop schedule in Braille or large print.

You may encounter Service Dogs at the festival.

Service dogs have a job to do. Please do not distract them.

This means:

  • No talking

  • No whistling

  • No petting

  • No photos

  • No eye contact

  • No interacting in any way

Further, what the dog does for the handler is considered private medical information that does not have to be shared. Do not:

  • Ask about the handler’s disabilities

  • Ask for the dog to demonstrate trained tasks

  • Assume that a handler is training the dog because they seem able bodied

Please do:

  • Talk directly to the handler.

  • Ignore the dog if it makes a mistake and engages with you.

  • Treat the team like any other member of the public.

Before you approach a service dog team to make even the best intentioned comment, ask yourself if you’d be approaching them for any reason besides the dog, and rethink your decision to engage with them. The handler may seem happy to respond, but many of them would rather be left alone but won’t want to be rude about that. The very best gift you can give a service dog team is to treat them like any other member of the public, which often means leaving them to their day and pretending the dog isn't there. Remember, service dogs are considered medical equipment and it is imperative that they stay focused on their handler.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

We are dedicated to keeping our patrons, artists, volunteers, staff, and community-at-large safe. The Board of Directors adopted a dynamic pandemic policy in 2020 that will remain subject to change on an as needed basis.

What can I do to keep myself and my fellow folkies safe?

Outdoor events such as ours are considered very low risk for respiratory illness transmission, but there is a voluntary assumption of risk by anyone coming to our site as there is with every activity we choose to participate in.

  • use the AHS self assessment tool here to assess your risk and take precautions
  • please stay up to date with current AHS recommendations here
  • stay home if you are sick
  • be prepared and bring your own mask and sanitizer to the festival

We remain a mask friendly festival. We will always support all folks with whatever level of precaution they choose to take for themselves, and will not tolerate harassment of any kind.

Alberta Health Service Covid-19 information can be found here