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Attending a festival with a mobility scooter

kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
edited June 22 in Coffee lounge
I Will be getting a mobility scooter hopefully soon, so plenty opportunities are opening up :).
One of them is to attend a Download festival, but because i have walking difficulties i thought that this opportunity is over for me, but with a mobility scooter its now a possibility!

I did a bit of research and found out that this particular festival has a special campsite for disabled guests. Only thing is, you will have to sleep in a tent which means you will have to get up from a very low position.

Can anyone share relevant experience?

Thanks \/

Replies

  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,840

    Scope community team

    Hi @kelics
    I have quad CP and use a wheelchair. I have attended lots of festivals and events where I have slept in a tent etc. Thankfully now things are better. I have a friend who works with the fantastic organisation Attitude is Everything, they have great resources.
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  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @Richard_Scope thanks for response dude \m/. 

    Im sure the staff wont leave you dying :)
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,840

    Scope community team

    The alcohol did that for me  :D
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  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics a friend of mine has just been to Download this year and was in the disabled camping section.  They do it every year.  They informed me that a lot of venues are getting better for disabled attendees too if you tell them in advance (I've only had to do it with two venues who were both great at making sure I had a seat).  It's all fairly new to me so I'm learning all the handy tips from my friend.

    Have you looked at some of the blow up mattresses so it's more bed height to sleep on?  You'd probably need a large tent to use it.  Alternatively, have you looked at accommodation nearby so you could stay in an AirBnb type idea and drive in and out as you need to?  I know for the festival I'd love to go back to, which is in Germany, the town nearby has a lot of accommodation.

    Just be aware that a lot of the ground is really uneven at festivals.  Good thing about the likes of Download is that most people will move out of your way if you're on the pathways.  It's been a LONG time since I went to Download, but I remember Donnington being on a slope.

    If it were me, I'd be planning what bands you want to see so you give yourself enough time to move between stages.  It's often tricky weaving in and out of people to get where you want, so sit with the running order for each stage before hand and make sure if you've got a close call between two bands on different stages that you're prepared to maybe miss the end/start of a set.  I used to do that anyway before every festival and then you can work out food breaks as well.

    I miss festivals haha  :D 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    The alcohol did that for me  :D
    Thats what im affaid of the most and something else hahahaha
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Oh another thought, what about getting a camping cot?  That might be a better idea than a blow up mattress or having to pay more for accommodation :) 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo thanks! Ill be going with a mate who is like a music fest/gigs veteran at 28 lol, so he will keep me right. I will be on a small foldable mobility scooter, im sure the terrain is suitable for it.

    The high mattress is a good suggestion, but theres a risk of falling from it and smeshing your head after a couple of drinks :D. And nonono to accomodation im staying at a camp site with my pals and getting seshed :D

    So have you stopped attending fests completely? 
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics great!  Good to have someone who knows all the handy tips of festivals.  Just thought it was worth knowing what the terrain is like, especially with the weather too.  Plenty walkways though so you should be fine.  Good thing about rock/metal fans is they're usually pretty supportive of each other :)  Though I wouldn't recommend crowdsurfing with the mobility scooter ;) 

    Hahahaha!!!  That's true, maybe a camping cot is a better idea then.  Less bouncing around feeling seasick after a few shandies  :D Plus no risk of it deflating!  

    My last camping festival was 2016 but I've been to a couple of weekenders in venues (North of the Wall Festival in Glasgow).  My chronic pain started in 2019 so Covid's kind of wiped out all the gig and festivals since finding out this was a long-term thing.  It's been something I have been thinking about a lot though because I started going to festivals young and I love being able to watch a load of bands I love over a few days.  The line up for Hellfest next year reminded me how much I miss live music haha.  
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo yea dude its good to have festival experienced friend but its also good to learn some things from people similar to me.

    I agree regarding rock/metal community, it has been the best community atleast from my experience, you know some songs are about eating other people, but in reality people who listen to that are very humble.

    Hahaha thanks for the suggestion  i think i will have to give it a shot and surf the crowd on a mobility scooter :D, i did see once a video of a guy crowd surfing on a wheelchair.

    Ive not checked other line ups yet, Download is number1 atm, just need to get the scooter and hopefully if my health allows me,  would love to see a lot of bands!

    Ironically i only started to have interest in festivals after being less able :D

    So you are unable to go because of chronic pain?
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics Yeah definitely.  Every year I went with my friend, we learnt something new to remember for our next year.  The boring things like taking your own bin bags, Andrex wipes rather than toilet paper, hand sanitizer...  Boring stuff.

    Hahahahaha!!!  I guess it depends on what bands you listen to  :D  Lots of bands I like I've no idea what they're singing because it's in German/Finnish/Russian/Norwegian/Japanese etc.  Definitely a good community spirit though on the whole.

    YEAH!  That was so cool!  That was exactly what I was thinking about :D  Having crowdsurfed a few times in my youth, I know how you can suddenly be dropped, so a wheelchair might stand more of a chance than the scooter :D 

    My first rock/metal festival was when I was 14 so I've been doing it on and off for more than half a lifetime.  My boring suggestion of sitting working out who you're going to see is because of the number of bands I would accidently miss.  Going with another female friend, we were able to work out when and where we'd meet after going off to watch our own bands (I'm not into all that symphonic stuff unless there was nothing else on  :D ).  Also when we could both get food, have a loo break and walk back to the campsite together.  

    Yeah, I can't stand for more than 10 minutes without pain in my back and legs.  I can't really walk far either.  It's all pretty new knowing this is something that won't go away and trying to manage it.  No more mosh pits for me :D 

    It sounds like you're in a similar boat with walking and the scooter? 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    edited June 22
    @HanzRolo andrex wipes? there are no showers ???
    I used listen to a lot of Cannibal Corpse so their lyrics is all about rape, murder, torture etc Now more on a chill side like Chelsea Wolfe, Emma Ruth Rundle etc.  what ab90ut u ?

    Can you actually be dropped :O ops....
    ps. sorry if i make any mistakes, i j7ust had a shower so my hands are struggling toi type a bit.

    aah so nice u managed to see a lot of bands :L) im jealous @(in a good way) of this years semi Download or whatever its called, post covid download or something did not impress me much and plus i dont have the scooter yet(actually Scooter is a great |German techno band)

    yea dude I have progressive form of MS im 32 but already suffering froim it a great deal, once a strong and healthy lad isd struggling toi type on kb or eat food at tymes haha, its lifesnt it :D

    I dunno about these fests tbh, id love to go to all, but i actually feel like a ****, very fatigues and tired most of the time,

    so did u had an injury or something ? 
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics sorry, just saw you'd replied  :# 

    Andrex Wipes are always a bonus for portaloos.  Always a bonus!!!  There are showers, erm...  I've always just taken baby wipes and dry shampoo.  I don't think anyone I've camped with has used the showers  :s 

    Haha, I have seen Cannibal Corpse.  I had no idea on their lyrics.  It just sounded like they were going "Norman, Norman, Norman!"  We've now got a joke that we should start a band using those lyrics...  I listen to all sorts of stuff from Justin Timberlake to Bloodbath and a whole load of things in between.  I listen to a lot of Finnish and German bands so I've always had to travel to see the majority of them at European festivals since they never play the UK.  I think I've ticked off a lot of my bucket list over the years.

    Yeah, I was dropped (on my feet) during a crowdsurf to Slipknot and was suspended from my waist during another to Placebo.  I was a lot skinnier then though  :D  Almost feels like a lifetime ago back in my teens (I'm in my late 30s).

    Ah MS is a tough one, especially when you were fit and healthy before, but I'm sure you can find ways to continue to rock out with it :)  It's just working out your limits and adjusting to it, but I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir there!  As I said already, working out the bands you want to see might be good for working out rest time, though if you're sitting watching the bands it's definitely a lot more chill than being in the mosh pit!  I have been known to fall asleep watching bands at festivals  :D  I remember seeing Iggy Pop... the first song and the last song of his set.  I crashed and didn't realise I'd fallen asleep until I woke up.  Oops!  :lol:  Set your own pace with it and find a good viewing point to sit and watch, the big screens are a bonus for sure (especially when you're as short as me).

    Well I have chronic pain.  I originally had sciatica that meant I took some time of work one year and the following year I turned funny in my sleep and BAM!!!  Sciatica down both legs right down into my toes and across my lower back.  It's been almost 2 and a half years with two different physios, a tonne of different meds and I've been told it's lifelong and I need to learn how to adjust.  I can't stand longer than 10 minutes without pain, I walk with a stick but only a couple of blocks without starting to feel it.  I've lost control in my legs with the muscles went "nope!" so I'm really anxious about going anywhere by myself now.  No answers as to why, just been told it's probably muscular.  I am dyspraxic too so I keep wondering if it was my walking with lack of balance/coordination that's built up to everything going kaput!  I just thought I'd wake up with it back to normal, but not this time.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,224

    Scope community team

    The accessibility of live music festivals is getting much better @kelics, as you say most festivals now have camping for disabled attendees, and most will allow a complimentary personal assistant ticket so you can take somebody with you free of charge. 

    I was quite jealous of those who went to Download Pilot this past weekend as I've missed live events so much, hopefully they'll be back soon. I'm due to go to Slam Dunk Festival in September which I'm very much looking forward to. As suggested by Richard further up this thread, Attitude is Everything are a great charity to contact if you ever have any concerns or want further advice and support about the accessibility of live music events.
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  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    edited June 27
    @HanzRolo Well the Canni song names tell a whole story [Removed by moderator - profanity and potentially triggering language] do u really want to know the lyrics?! :D
    Nobody use showers? **** loos? man, I'm anxious now, will you be able to use a toilet in peace atleast?

    Iggy Pop? can't say I heard anything about this band :/

    In terms of walking aids, the stick would just put me off balance I have a very poor balance, glad the stick helps you. does anything at all help to reduce your pain?

    hahaha Norman Norman, when I try to sing Cannibal Corpse song I just bark like a dog :D
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics Yeah... I never got into them.  I love my heavy stuff (lots of melodic death metal and progressive metal, some melodic black metal), but I think the album covers along with the names of the tracks just made me a bit too uncomfortable.  They were on during a lunch break so we just sat in the grass while they played.  Seen a lot of random bands that way over the years, like Iggy Pop... Well, not so much of Iggy other than his first song and The Passenger which was his last.  You'll know The Passenger, it's been on loads of adverts and films over the years.  

    People do use the showers, others just chuck water over themselves.  Too cold for me  :D It's been a long time since I've done a UK festival, but I did upgrade my ticket at Download so that I could use better toilets.  The ones at the earlier festivals I went to were horrendous but the ones in France and Germany were far nicer.  I don't know if there are more accessible toilets, might be worth having a look into that because they might be nicer.  Your friends might do festivals completely different to mine, though for a few years it was myself and one female friend for the weekend and rucksacks contained baby wipes, face wipes, dry shampoo, anti perspirant/deodorant, Andrex Wipes and hand sanitiser.  When we went to the portaloos one would stand with the handbags and ready with hand sanitiser.  The other bonus of the Andrex Wipes is because they're wet wipes, you can wipe the seat if it's really bad (or look for another portaloo...).

    @Richard_Scope and @Ross_Scope might have a better perspective of it as well with their experiences.  It's been a LONG time since I did a camping festival in the UK so the facilities might have vastly improved. 

    Pain for me?  I'm taking max dose of pregabalin and then paracetamol on top if I need it.  I over did it yesterday meeting family for lunch so I'm struggling a bit today  :s It's when you're trying to focus on calming the pain and stopping yourself from crying with it in public :s  We've tried a lot of pain relief over the last couple of years and this is the only thing that takes the edge off of it.  I had my heated belt on when I got into the house to try to calm it a little but I've ended up exhausted and really sore today.
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    edited June 27
    @HanzRolo hahahaha the Canni song names were removed by admins, it says it all, dont really need to know the lyrics :).

    Ive never been to a UK fest nevermind abroad, Download would be dream come true.

    What you metioned is a lot of hassle for me, as i suffer from like severe fatigue at times but proper showers/toilets is imnportant for me...

    wots best/worst things about the festivals apart from seeing lots of great bands of course ?
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,840

    Scope community team

    Showers at festivals!  :D  I guess I haven't been to many high-class festivals. The best part of festivals for me (apart from the music) is making random connections with people. Not worrying about bills, money, work. You are in the moment. 
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    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

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  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @Richard_Scope i defo agree with that mate! I never been like i mentioned above, but can imagine! Really hope to attend one
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    Thought I was the only person that hadn't been to a festival before?! I have said I wanted to be able to go to one before I turned 40 then lock down kind of peed all over that I didn't even bother looking into it all..... So im now newly 40 and still not been to one! I don't know if I will be able to due to lung/ breathing problems and obviously there's a lot of people so my anxiety would be ginormous and that will trigger the dreaded panic attacks too and I wouldn't want to spoil anyone else's fun! It's been great reading you guys comments/posts about it I'm excited for you! It gives me hope that maybe I will be able to get to one myself because if you can get past things then maybe I can too! Thanks peeps for making me smile before mid day which doesn't normally happen 😜😝👍😊 take care and stay safe! 
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @Emilyb81 the first festival I went to was a one day one, so no camping involved.  It's worth looking at smaller local ones to see what's going on.  There are all these retro ones that had started up that people I knew were going to with their camping chairs just to sit and watch.  You don't have to get involved in sliding down the hill in mud :D  My parents went to one a couple of years ago with Feeder and Kaiser Chiefs and they just took camping chairs with them but it was a smaller local one rather than Glasto or Reading :)  I've done a few weekenders where we've stayed in a hotel (ok... Premier Inn) as the bands have been playing in venues rather than in a muddy field.  Keep it on the bucketlist :) 
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics yeah Canni track names are definitely not nice.  I just can't get behind it.  I like death metal but I prefer things like Wolfheart singing about the cold  :D 

    I was going to see live music from a very young age with my parents and went to festivals with them too.

    I'd check to see if they have any upgrades for toilets or any specific ones for disabled attendees.  I've seen some really grim things when using the facilities at festivals so if I can get an upgrade I'll take it.  It's worth watching where the portaloo cleaning trucks are.  When they've been and gone, that's the best time to go!  Shhh, don't tell everyone that or there'll be big queues :D 

    Best thing, I agree with @Richard_Scope with meeting new people.  I've made some great friends at festivals from all over the world :)  Fell out with a mate at one festival who we had camped next to (no idea why, still baffled by it) and made two new friends who were camped beside us.  Still keep in touch with the two new friends.  I miss doing it. 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    edited June 28
    @Emilyb81 you will attend 100%. Next year will be your year!
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    Thanks peeps!!
    My goals are that and maybe going on a holiday for first time since I was 14 lol oh and learning how to drive!!
     Big things to work towards eventually but I feel they are a more achievable today than they were before! So yeah thankyou 😊👍😎 
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @Emilyb81 best of luck!!!  Driving is my next thing I need to do.  I've always been concerned about it with being dyspraxic but a friend told me that they learnt in an automatic and found it far easier.  
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    I've been told it's easier to learn in an automatic too so will defo do that if and when I take the plunge! :smile: even thinking it's possible is new for me as I normally just talk myself out of anything positive hence not achieving many of the things others have by now! So hoping I can hold onto this new found hope and motivation!
    Good luck to you too @HanzRolo we will all be driving to a festival very soon I'm sure 😊💪😎 have a fab week peeps!! 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    I typed something out over an hour ago and I am always typing then deleting and restarting etc so it takes me a while to put a message together then my phone refreshed and it was all gone!! So I've finished sulking now and tried to remember what I'd said but basically I remembered earlier that a few years back I went to a music event in the town I was living in they call it a festival but it's a few local bands playing in a park so not a festival like the ones above! 😂😊
    Anyhoo they had a raised metal  platform with ramps either side of it so people in wheelchairs or scooters etc can go up and watch the music without any worry about getting stuck or injured etc? I thought that was a good idea it's pretty much in middle of everything and you get taken up and locked in I think so others can't get in rather than us not being able to escape I believe!! Anyway I thought that was a good idea and not sure if they do something similar at bigger festivals and events? It would certainly help me if I knew I wasn't trapped & unable to get out in emergency situation? And if I remember rightly they had a better view up there 😂👍😎 so don't know if that's something they do elsewhere?.... 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous

    @Emilyb81 Oh you will enjoy driving, that's for sure, it's awesome especially if you love to travel. I'm using an automatic/hand control now, and it's probably even better than ordinary pedals.


    Regarding the high ramp at fest, there are perks of being disabled i guess :D.

    Your text disappears, that's fam to me also, I have to copy what I write so if I accidently refresh, the effort is not wasted.


    @HanzRolo good luck mate, i hope you will start driving soon \m/
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo hahaha mate you scaring me, i really hope toilets are OK :D
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,224

    Scope community team

    Most of the larger festivals do have areas similar to that @Emilyb81. There are often numerous stages dotted around the festival site and most of them will have a viewing area intended for the use of disabled attendees should they need it. It's essentially a space fit with chairs so that people can have a seat while watching the show, and of course wheelchair users access it too.
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  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    Oh thank you @Ross_Scope that sounds good! I expect it costs more but I genuinely don't see a way around me going to one if I'd have to be in crowds of people although that's probably part of the fun for most people I literally pass out even on trains etc as too tight space wise so that would take a load of my anxiety away so would be worth the money for me anyway! 
    And @kelics I do think driving would give me much more sense of freedom than I have currently? As I have to rely on taxis to go anywhere so having a car would mean I am not relying on others as much and would be a great help to visit family and get to hospital appointments and similar so although I've always said I can't afford to learn or a car but recently looked into the disability car thing and I can learn in that apparently so again like the festival its looking/feeling much more doable! 
    I will look into it for next year 100% 👍😊 I really didn't think it would be something if ever manage to do before I came on here as always put lots of walls in the way in my head? But they are currently getting torn down so definitely grateful for this forum for many reasons! Have a great day peeps 😎🌞👍
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,224

    Scope community team

    The facilities for disabled attendees don't cost more @Emilyb81. In fact, if you need somebody to go with you at all you'd be able to get a free second ticket for that person, which makes things even more manageable.
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  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    kelics said:
    @HanzRolo hahaha mate you scaring me, i really hope toilets are OK :D
    Sorry, I've just had bad experiences at some festivals with the portaloos (though Leeds rather than Download).  But if you can cope looking at the cover of Canni albums you'll be fine ;) 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo hahahahaha thats kinda true, i actually have one of their T from Red Before Black Album. U should see one of their Violence Unimagenable T-Shirts, i honestly dunno who would wear that :D some t-shirts are just sick...
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @emily81 you should definetly start learning to drive, like you said, more freedom and you won't have to rely on taxis or others to give you a lift
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Hey guys, i think I'm going to Download2022.

    What are the steps i need to take to arrange that access camp? 

    I just looked at the tickets and the options are something like "3nights eco, "5 nights eco" or something like that,  I'm not sure if anything is relevant to me.

    Thanks in advance for the tips! \m/
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo hey mate thanks for the reply,  kinda like that but I still have a lot more  questions than answers

    which exact tickets do I need to purchase? (there is no such thing as Access Tickets as far as I know)

    do I apply for an access camp after I purchase a ticket? before?

    I think I need to phone and speak to someone that is if these "unprecedented times" will allow me to speak to anyone.

    any idea who can give me more relevant info? download office? 



  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics I will ask my mate who is a regular goer to the festival and see what he says.  I'll get back to you when he replies :) 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @Kelics Friend says that he buys a normal ticket and then applies when it opens.  Doesn't make sense to me but he also said, "There is a disabled access download Facebook group." - https://www.facebook.com/groups/disabledcampfordl15

    Hope that helps ^_^ 
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @HanzRolo NOOOOÒOOOICE!! thanks for the FB group!!
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics I should have asked earlier so you'd have the link to the group sooner  :D I'd have missed the banter though if I had  :D I didn't know there was a group.  I'm sure there'll be LOADS of advice :) 
  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    As  power wheelchair used I have often asked myself the same questiin when I see the likes of Glastonbury on the TV. I would love to go but how can you see who you are watching if people are in front of you standing up? This has happened to me a concerts and dont want to waste time trying to get tickets if I cant see.
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @littleacorn i believe there are special ramps for disabled people,  so u r actually higher than everyone else :)
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,840

    Scope community team

    There are raised platforms for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. 
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  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    I have used one of these raised ramps before but just cant see them on the tv at Glasto. Are they far back? The other questiin is how do you manage if it is muddy?
  • TomD77TomD77 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    I can confirm in regards to download festival, there are ramps like that, at least for wheelchairs, dunno how it will be this year for mobility scooters, depends if you go class-2 or class-3, the class-3 is quite heavy. Last time I was on my vehicle there, to illustrate, Cristal mobility scooter to be precise (plz don't kill me for posting a link) it has quite wide behind, but I didn't really have any trouble getting with it to the festival. Can't imagine that anything you'll get will be bigger or heavier than the cow I personally use  :D Best tho get specs of yours and just phone with inquiry, better to get information from first hand. Hope this helps
  • kelicskelics Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    @TomD77 i got a class2 Zest foldable car boot scooter. What about the terrain? Heard it can get real muddy i saw quite a heavy duty mob scooter all covered in mud..
  • HanzRoloHanzRolo Member Posts: 46 Connected
    @kelics most festivals have pathways you can follow to stay off the grass and mud.  It's been a LONG time since I went to Download, but I'm pretty sure there were a number of pathways.  You just have to "beep beep!" at people to get out of your way.  I've been to festivals where I've come back with mud up to the knees of my jeans and others where I have a tshirt suntan, definitely less predictable for the weather at UK fests.
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