Accessibility and inclusivity at the Food Autonomy Festival #7 in Amsterdam

With the FAF#7 less than a month away, ASEED is busy busy getting everything ready – and as accessible and welcoming for all as possible. Below you can read about the measures we have taken to improve accessibility and inclusivity at this year‘s FAF – but also what we are lacking. If you know you want to attend the festival and have some specific needs or wishes to make this happen (and make it fun!), we want to hear from you. Please read the descriptions below and reach out to (referring to the FAF Awareness Team in the subject) if you have additional requests. We would love to be able to accommodate everyone fully, but our budget and capacities are limited, so we can‘t promise that we will be able to meet all needs and wants, still, we will try our best!

We will continue updating this page as the planning goes along and we improve the areas of the festival space.

Throughout the entire weekend, we will have a team available for conflict management, listening to concerns, and to help out with accessibility. This team will be visibly marked, approachable, and attentive to social and physical environments. A phone number will be available through which they can be reached at all times. We will do our best to de-escalate arising conflicts and listen to the target of discrimination/violence/oppression – but we do not offer professional level therapeutic or care work.
Read more about what the awareness team is/isn’t and what to excpect, here.

1. Economic Accessibility

  • We will ask for a €3 suggested donation per person at the entrance, in order to cover the costs of the festival. But this is just a suggestion, and if someone cannot afford this, we will not refuse them entry. Economic accessibility also means being able to compensate the workshop givers who share their time and energy on their work for us.
  • Food tickets will cost approximately €4 per meal (€2 for drinks), but we will have a small portion of tickets for those who cannot afford to buy one.
  • Please let us know at the info stall if you would like to make use of this.

2. Food & Allergies

  • Who is cooking? The Barricade is a volunteer-run collective inspired by raccoons and anarchism. Usually cooking at ACU Utrecht every Sunday. By fighting food waste they make it possible for people to eat a decent meal without having to pay a fortune. They also organise political events and have an anarchist library! They will be joined by our FAF volunteers!
  • The food will be vegan and allergens will be marked. Please let us know at the info stall if you have specific requirements for food. Maybe gluten-free?
  • Cooking can take place in the outdoor or indoor kitchen. Both are wheelchair accessible, but many things may be out of reach, because of height.
  • We have a limited amount of food, we have 100 portions for each meal ! Food tickets will cost approximately €4 per meal (€2 for drinks), but we will have a small portion of tickets for those who cannot afford to buy one. Please let us know at the info stall if you would like to make use of this.

3. Getting to the location (check out this post too):

  • The location for all three days of the FAF is ADM Noord / Het Groene Veld (the entrance is through Buikslotermeerdijk 95).
  • The location is reachable by car, public transport and by bike. The closest metro station 1.9km away, approximately 25 minutes by foot. 
  • There are approximately 5 parking spots. Parking will be only for people with disabilities/urgent need for parking. They will be clearly marked.
  • There will be bike parking for all.
  • NB: The driveway to the festival space is downhill, relatively long and bumpy (we may be able to improve this).

4. Outdoor accessibility:

  • There are four types of main outdoor areas: concrete, grass field, gardens,  and forest ground. 
  • The concrete areas are quite large and are accessible from the road and the parking lot, although slightly bumpy. This is where the stalls and eating area will be.
  • We will make sure that the path between the stall rows is more than 2 meters wide.
  • The grass field is large, it will host a kids’ area, and a smoking area.
  • The workshop space will be reachable through the concrete floor or/and have mats or planks for accessibility,  the low-sensory area will be a bit remote, between the trees on a forest ground but also accessible with mats or planks.
  • The gardens are inaccessible for wheelchairs and have narrow, winding paths. This is where the gardening and farming activities will take place on Friday the 9th, and it‘s still unsure if there will be more accessible events or workshops that day. 
  • The edge of the festival area will be marked with red & white tape, so it is clear where the terrain ends. The route on the terrain will be clearly marked with directional signs. 
  • ⚠To be careful with children: There are large water reservoirs with an approximately 1-meter concrete fence around them.

5. Indoor accessibility:
We will have two different indoor locations, which are approx. 30m appart from each other:

The Cultural Centre:

  • The threshhold will be made accessible with a wooden beam
  • Main entrance is wide, double doors can open
  • No wheelchair accessible toilet
  • 2 emergency exits

‘Machine room‘:

  • The threshhold will be made accessible with a wooden beam
  • Main entrance is wide, double doors can open
  • One toilet is wheelchair accessible: there is enough space for a wheelchair to pass through (still a bit tight)
  • 4 emergency exits
  • All toilets are gender neutral and we are going to place handles for support on the walls

6. Child-friendly area:
We will have an area designated for children in the garden, however, unfortunately we cannot provide childcare throughout the entire festival. 

  • On one or several days there will be workshops in this area for children, but at all other times we advise that they are accompanied by their grown-ups.
  • The children‘s space in inaccessible for wheelchairs.
  • We are going to try to have a sanitary space for childcare

7. Low-sensory area:

  • We will have a low-sensory area, a calm space also used as a support and recovery area.
  • This space is especially meant for neuro-atypical folks, but also anyone who might need it.
  • We hope to always have someone from the awareness team present that is there to support and answer questions.
  • This area will be clearly marked with a sign.
  • We will make sure it is wheelchair accessible. 

8. Smoking area:

  • We will have a designated smoking area; we will ask people not to smoke throughout the festival grounds, only in this designated area. 
  • It is still unsure whether this will be wheelchair accessible.

9. Alcohol and other drugs:

  • If you want to smoke, drink or use other substances, ask if it’s okay with the people around you. There will be specific areas set aside for smoking, so please only smoke there.
  • Please do not offer alcohol, cigarettes, weed or any other substance to anyone without knowing if they want it – it can be triggering for people who don’t consume it or have stopped to consume it to receive multiple invitations.

10. Accessibility, auditory considerations, and language at workshops:

  • We will have seats reserved at the front of workshop spaces. We invite participants to think about the space they and their priviledges take up, leaving more room for others, and saving the front seats for people who might need them more.
  • Most of our workshops and sessions will be in English, but there may be a few in Dutch (more updates coming soon). We are searching for volunteers to help with whisper translations.
  • We will ask for a notetaker for every workshop, which can be shared. These can later be found at the info desk and might also be in other languages than the workshop language. We will also upload them on our website after the festival has ended.
  • We will notify speakers and presenters that they should avoid turning their back to the audience and make sure to repeat audience questions and comments to improve the sound.

Please note again that we might not have the means to accommodate these needs, but we see it as valuable to know them anyway so we can prepare as much as possible and improve further next year.

(Non-exhaustive) examples considerations we have not implemented:

  • Accessible routes from public transport to venue
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Scent free
  • Low noise (except for the low-sensory tent)
  • Low light
  • Bright light
  • Strobe free
  • Reserved seating
  • Food allergies such as: peanut free, tree nut free, soy free
  • and of course there are plenty of other things we have not thought about!!