guitarA music festival exclusively for people with a learning disability and autism, their families and carers will be held in the New Forest this summer. 

The 3-day New Forest Spectrum festival will be held at Lyndhurst in the New Forest and run from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 July and more than 40 live acts have already joined the line-up. 

The festival will host two stages, a dance tent and a sensory area, as well as other activities including a circus school, swing dance classes, a zip wire and a large camp site. The festival is 100% wheelchair friendly.

The festival in being run by two charities based in the New Forest – The Minstead Training Trust and Stables Family Home Trust. Between them, the charities provide care and support to more than 250 adults with a learning disability in the area.

Hal Kennard, the festival’s co-producer, has been a carer for a young man with Down's syndrome for the last two and a half years. He said: “New Forest Spectrum’s music policy will be broad, eclectic and fun with a twist of pop, a dab of disco and a sprinkle of reggae. The concept behind the festival is audience interaction! The hardest part is letting everyone around the country with learning disabilities know about the festival – please help us spread the word!”

Hugh Calder has been a music tour manager for more than 20 years, 10 of which was spent with The Stone Roses and Ian Brown. He is also father to two disabled children and is the festival’s other co-producer. He added: “We have tried to ensure there is something for everyone – from an autism-friendly chill out zone, massage and pampering tent, and CODA Music jamming tent, to zip wires and circus acts. We are really excited about this unique offer and hope as many people as possible will come and make it a successful annual event.” 

A 3-day ticket including camping costs £120, with a 1-day ticket costing £80. Carers and children under 12 go free. To book your ticket, visit:

You can also visit the festival's Facebook page: