Dylan Alcott details emotional Ability Fest moments ahead of 2023 event

Dylan Alcott has opened up about the moment a disabled attendee of his inclusive music festival called the event the “best day of his life” shortly before his death.

The Australian of the Year and retired tennis player made the emotional revelation ahead of the fifth Ability Fest, which will be held at Birrarung Marr in Melbourne on March 25.

Ability Fest was created and run by Dylan for Australians to attend a music festival that caters for the needs of people with disabilities.

When asked about his favourite memory from the event, Dylan was quick to point to one example that still makes him teary-eyed.

“I’m getting quite emotional (talking about it) but we had a young guy come who said it was the best day of his life and afterwards he sadly passed away,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“It had been his first live event ever and it just gives me goosebumps talking about it.

“A lot of young people with disabilities don’t get the same opportunities (as others) because they get left out so it can be good to see.”

However, Dylan was quick to point out Australia’s events had a long way to go in becoming inclusive and despite his fame, is not immune from accessibility issues.

“I still have these experiences. From lack of toilets, lack of facilities and a lot more,” he said.

“There is a thirst in the market for to branch out, at all major events because people with disabilities are consumers just like everybody else.

“We want choice and control over our own lives, just like everybody else and I think people are realising that.”

Minister Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said the event will “put Victoria on the map as an accessible destination”.

“Festivals and music are a quintessential part of Victory and Ability Fest sets a gold standard for inclusion, offering more people the opportunity to revel in an incredible live music experience,” he said.

This year’s line-up includes Hilltop Hoods, Sampa the Great, Meg Mac, BROODS, SHOUSE, DZ Deathrays, Telenova and Alex Lahey.

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