How Coachella Elevated Experiences for the Differently-Abled


Backstage experiences at major music festivals and exclusivity have historically gone hand in hand. Usually dancing onstage or meeting the artists who perform on them are the sort of activities that are only for the select few, and this is especially true for massive pop culture events like Coachella. The many competing priorities for operations teams during the build make giving attention to wheelchair ramps and elevators even more of a challenge. It could even be said that accessibility to onstage and backstage often takes a backseat. That sadly leaves anyone who may be bound to a wheelchair without a path to the same fun the rest of us are having.

Fortunately through the work of one wheel chair riding raver and some kindly souls at Coachella that all changed this year. With the simple addition of a wheelchair lift at the new Do LaB Stage, the independent arts collective behind the dreamy stage design, Goldenvoice, and Coachella scored a win for accessibility that made a world of difference for at least a few.

In a series of Instagram Posts Saptarshi Majumdar, who goes by the moniker Sap, described the experiences and conversations that led to him smashing beers onstage alongside the likes of Chase and Status.

In Sap’s episodic posts he talks about the figurative and literal obstacles he faces gaining accessibility at festivals. Through his journey with friends, Alvaro and Mason, he explains why being able to share time at Coachella with others who are differently-abled meant so much to him. Online Sap had spent years cultivating a party persona in his Instagram handle @yourfavoritecrippleSAP, but now that he had a bit of a following he wanted to parlay it into helping others.

With the help of friends at the Do LaB, Sap was able to coordinate for he, Alvaro, and Mason to rendezvous onstage via the wheelchair lift that he secretly arranged.

For Sap, the whole experience was especially emotional because a few years back he applied to be a part of Goldenvoice’s Accessibility+ program, which advocates for and supports differently abled patrons at their events. To his surprise, he was rejected. While he understood the decision given his party boy persona it still tee’d off a bender that pushed him to the brink. Emerging from it all this year, he managed to advocate for others on his own with incredible results. He even got a nod from a friend at the Accessibility+ team. Plus, plenty of photo and video proof of his win for accessibility at the festival just in case anyone needs receipts.

To follow more of Sap’s adventures stay tuned on his IG account, @yourfavoritecrippleSap.




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