Autism-friendly literary festival launches in Hertfordshire

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Festival season is around the corner – so exciting! There are so many festival experiences to choose from and there really is something for everyone. An inclusive approach from organisers and an accessible set up is essential to enable people with SEND to attend and be part of the community.

I was thrilled when Dr. Emma Byrne, author, broadcaster and festival founder, got in touch to tell me about Wild Words Festival launching in June 2022- over the Jubilee Weekend. Wild Words Festival is perfectly designed for families and has a strong emphasis on inclusivity.

The lineup looks absolutely incredible and I am looking forward to embracing this with my littluns. The festival is really affordable too, with day tickets starting at £20 for adults, £10 for 5-18 year olds, free for under 5s, and carers go free. Weekend tickets are only £70 for adults and £35 for 5-18 year olds. This is such a bargain! I have paid that for a day ticket to some very B-class ‘festivals’ in the past!

Wild Words Festival

Wild Words Festival is a brand new book festival with a difference. Described by the Sunday Telegraph as “best for bookworms” in its roundup of the best family festivals of 2022, Wild Words Festival is an inclusive celebration of the written and spoken word for the whole family. 

The festival has a programme full of informal, relaxed performances and workshops, a quiet site, accessible toilets and parking. The site is big enough to spread out, play on the grass, and enjoy nature as well as the shows.

I designed this festival to be the kind that I love to perform at myself, with the philosophy that everyone is welcome, and everyone is supported.

Emma Byrne, festival founder, and author of How to Build a Human

The programme is family friendly, with a dedicated kids tent full of relaxed activities led by bestselling children’s authors including Annabelle Sami, Mitch Johnson, Alan Snow, and Tola Ogokwu, as well as junk journalling and reminiscence boxes from Hertfordshire libraries, and nature activities from the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trusts.  

For grownups there are bestselling authors of romantic comedy, science fiction, history, science, and comic books, as well as live Dungeons and Dragons style live comedy roleplay from the RPGeeks, and interactive sci fi theatre show Red Planet Revolution from Upstart Theatre. And both nights feature silent discos for those who want to take control of their soundtrack.

“We’re training all the staff performers in how to deliver relaxed performances, and how to support everyone to enjoy the festival,” says Byrne. “We know that enjoyable events are possible, but they don’t happen by accident. We’re putting in the work because we know what incredible results it has,”

Wild Words Festival takes place from the 3rd-5th June 2022 at Colesdale Farm, Cuffley, just outside Potters Bar. Day tickets start from £20 for adults, £10 for 5-18 year olds, and free for under fives. Parking and companion tickets are free for anyone in receipt of DLA or with a Blue Badge, an Access Pass, registered for CEA or the Hynt schemes.

Book tickets HERE!

Enjoy you adventures!

Amy and the littluns x

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