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By Libby Curran
February 20, 2020
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Ability Fest 2020 — CANCELLED

An inclusive music festival that is fully wheelchair accessible and translated into AUSLAN.
By Libby Curran
February 20, 2020
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UPDATE: MARCH 14, 2020 — The Dylan Alcott Foundation (DAF) and Ability Fest organising partners have announced that Ability Fest 2020 will no longer go ahead "in response to the ongoing and changing Coronavirus environment, government advice and after much discussion". Ticket holders will receive a full refund.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

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Australia's most inclusive music festival is back for 2020 — with a killer lineup in tow. Run by sports and radio legend Dylan Alcott and Untitled (the entertainment group behind Beyond The Valley and Pitch Music & Arts), Ability Fest caters to everyone, regardless of gender, disability, age or race. It also won Best New Event in Concrete Playground's Best of 2018 Awards.

With Ability Fest, Alcott's set out to both normalise disability and help boost inclusivity across all areas of the music industry. With 20 percent of Aussies living with a physical or intellectual disability, it's high time an event like this was added to the festival calendar.

A massive lineup for the 2020 event dropped this week, which includes indie rockers The Preatures, EDM legend What So Not, rapper Seth Sentry, electronic duo Set Mo, indie pop group I Know Leopard and Canberra's Safia. All artists are donating their time.

Melbourne's Coburg Velodrome is being transformed into a fully accessible live music venue for the event, complete with a bunch of viewing platforms for those in wheelchairs, quiet spaces and AUSLAN translators for all acts on the main stage.

Since 2017, the Dylan Alcott Foundation has raised more than $500,000, and this year's Ability Fest will kick that number up a fair bit higher with 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales going back into the foundation. This will then be used to offer mentoring, scholarships and grants to young Australians living with disability — and, this year, some of the proceeds will go directly towards those who have been affected by this summer's devastating bushfires.

Alex Drewniak

ABILITY FEST 2020 LINEUP

Boo Seeka
Crooked Colours
Dena Amy
Funkmaster
Vinnie Generik
Horrorshow
I Know Leopard
Jawbreakers
KLP
Liz Martin
Lozi
Mady Mooda
Market Memories
Polish Club
The Preatures
Safia
Set Mo
Seth Sentry
Steve Bleas
The Preatures
What So Not

Pre-sale tickets are available from 6pm on Tuesday, February 25 (sign-up for access over here). General tickets go on sale on Wednesday, February 26 via abilityfest.com.au.

Ability Fest runs from 12–10pm.

Images: Kate Shanasy, Jayden Ostwald and Alex Drewniak.

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