Though many industries have fallen victim to the global pandemic, the music industry has been hit particularly hard. To think back to gigs and festivals is to recall a bygone era, one where you could dance and gyrate in a circle of sweaty strangers, belt out lyrics with little regard to tune or pitch, and simply revel in the theatre that is a live music performance. To say we’ve missed live music is an understatement, but for many the absence of Dylan Alcott’s famed Ability Fest has been particularly hard to stomach. Thankfully, in what can only be described as something of a Christmas miracle, Ability Fest will return to Melbourne this November.
The one-day festival will return in 2021 with a stellar line-up of local musicians and global stars, and even boasts an Insta-worthy location to boot. Peking Duk, Cub Sport, Illy, Nina Las Vegas, and What So Not will all perform. Notable sensations like Alex The Astronaut and Eves Karydas will feature on the lineup, alongside 2020 Unearthed Artist of the Year and NIMAs nominee JK-47. Set across two stages, the artists will perform at Alexandra Gardens by the Yarra/Birrarung River.
The lineup is certainly sensational, but what makes Ability Fest everyone’s favourite festival is the premise upon which it was founded: to provide access to all people, regardless of disability. Now, the Covid-safe party will transform the location into one with elevated viewing platforms, tiled pathways, guide dogs, designated sensory quiet areas, companion ticketing, as well as AUSLAN interpreters for all performances. This is more than just a feel-good vibe to attend with your friends, it’s a festival that’s life-changing for so many, providing them a space to be themselves and celebrate who they are.
Alcott said about the festival’s return, “ABILITY FEST started as a place to bring friends together to enjoy good quality live music – no matter what your access challenges may be. Today, four years in, we have created an event that sets a new standard in the festival world, and shows others what is possible.”
He added, “I want to give young people with disability the opportunity to experience the magic of a music festival which previously may not have been possible for them, and raise a hell of a lot of money in the process.”
Co-presented by triple J and produced by The Untitled Group whose festival CV also includes the likes of Grapevine Gathering and Beyond the Valley, 100 per cent of proceeds from Ability Fest will be donated towards helping the 4.3 million young Australians living with a disability via the Dylan Alcott Foundation. See the full lineup below.
Ability Fest 2021
Saturday 27 November – Alexandra Gardens: Naarm, Melbourne VIC
Alex The Astronaut
Nina Las Vegas
Peking Duk (DJ Set)
What So Not
Pre-sale ticket registration closes at 4pm AEST on 11 August 2021, tickets on sale from 6pm AEST on 11 August, 2021. General tickets go on sale at 12pm AEST on 12 August, 2021 with prices starting from $89.90. For more information visit the website here.
To find out more about the Dylan Alcott Foundation, apply for a grant, of if you’d like to make a donation, visit the official website here.