View from the hill
The three-day Meredith Music Festival is held every year in country Victoria. I attended for the first time in 2009. I was happy to get a car park very close to the festival. The stage is at the bottom of a hill. I had a good view. There was also good access to the toilet and food stalls. Staff were helpful.
Posted by: Anthony Bartl, on 11/01/10
The Meredith Music Festival is an annual mecca for music fans
On a cool but pleasant early summer’s day in December 2009 I began making my way to the Meredith Music Festival. The event started as some primitive musical fun for event founder Chris Nolan and his mates in 1991. But Chris envisioned something much bigger. He is responsible for catapulting the three-day event into what is now an annual mecca for music fans.
The outdoor music festival is held on private farmland near the town of Meredith. The town is half-way between Geelong and Ballarat. The line-up at the recent festival included famous singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. Other performers that have played in previous years include:
- The Whitlams
- Magic Dirt
- Augie March
- Something for Kate
- John Butler Trio
- You Am I
As I hadn’t been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted by staff directing me to accessible parking virtually right in front of the festival.
Once at the site, I was pleased with what I saw. The main stage was set at the bottom of a gentle slope. All musical acts performed on the main stage. This meant I didn’t have to move anywhere. I could prop at the top of the hill and have an unobstructed view.
Food and drink were only a short walk (or drive) away. Also nearby was an accessible toilet. But when trying to get there, the experience wasn’t so good. As no proper pathways had been erected, it was a bumpy ride across grassy, uneven terrain. I needed my head held firmly by an attendant while I steered my chin-operated chair with a nervous jaw.
More pleasing was the First Aid centre adjacent to the accessible toilet. Organisers had the extraordinary foresight to include three height adjustable hospital beds and an electric hoist. The only problem was that the beds were close together. If someone did need to be hoisted, their attendants would not have had any room.
Another person attending Meredith was a fellow wheelchair user called Mario. Mario appreciated the proximity of the accessible parking, toilet, food outlets and stage. He also liked how the toilet was located next to first aid and the police.
This position acted as a deterrent to able-bodied people (using the accessible toilet), Mario says.
Every time I needed to use it, it was vacant. It is always occupied at other festivals I have been to. I usually have to wait for at least fifteen minutes before I can use one.
Mario says the festival staff were also helpful.
They were really respectful and asked if I needed any help before actually giving it. I really appreciated this.
The 2010 Meredith Music Festival is held from December 10 to 12.
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