Co-Founder, Euan’s Guide
I co-founded Euan’s Guide, the disabled access charity, with my sister Kiki in 2013. Our disabled access review website, EuansGuide.com, is where disabled people, their family, friends and carers can find and share reviews on the accessibility of venues around the UK and beyond. We are proud to be based here in Edinburgh and we work closely with Edinburgh Festivals to help improve access for disabled people. Our annual Accessible Edinburgh Festivals Awards help to recognise the work being done to improve the festivals’ accessibility and to highlight best practice examples of inclusivity.
I enjoy working with the festivals as the organisers always have a clear desire to improve year after year, which is reflected in the accessible programme of events, the opportunities provided for disabled artists and access for disabled people. A great example of this is the fact that the number of Changing Places toilet facilities across the city has almost doubled in August in the last few years to support the influx of visitors. It’s great to know that despite the challenges that disabled people face when it comes to taking part in Edinburgh’s Festivals, opportunities to participate are opening up each year. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for disabled visitors and disabled artists looking to take part in Edinburgh’s festivals.
What is your favourite festival memory?
Some of my favourite memories date back to 1994 when I had a student job doing deliveries during the festival. On my first day there I took a parcel to the Festival Theatre and was greeted by a friendly Australian, who it turned out was Baz Luhrmann, who was in Edinburgh directing his production of A Midsummer Night´s Dream.
Another day I got a request from an American man to ‘deliver’ a piper to the place he was staying to play ‘Happy Birthday’ down the phone to his friend in the US – which I happily did! There was never an ordinary day – it was one of the best jobs I've ever had.
What makes you proud to be a Festival City citizen?
I'm proud to be a Festival City citizen because we welcome people from all over the world and provide a perfect stage for them and their creativity. It's the best month of the year. For it not to be happening this year makes you appreciate it all the more.