“Roar is for disabled people to be heard and let you know how we feel, so people don’t jump to conclusions about people with disabilities. People focus on ability not disability.” 

(Minty Millar)

Roar Festival was conceived in 2015 as a disability arts festival for young people; to celebrate diversity, ability and difference, with a spotlight on accessible and inclusive arts. It has grown to become a more inclusive two-day festival; a day of workshops and a day of performance.

Roar has evolved to be more than a festival. This year the Roar project has involved working with many groups of disabled and non-disabled young people. Roar encompasses a programme of outreach and in-house workshops and creative opportunities over a six-month period around the festival; celebrating the potential of young disabled people specifically and bringing young people together through the arts. It has extended to involve young disabled people from Oxford in other cultural events, both locally and nationally.

ROAR 2018

This year we are opening our doors for two days. Day one of the festival (Friday 31st August)  will be full of workshops and opportunities to get involved. Day two of the festival (Saturday 1st September) is all about performance.

ROAR Festival wants to support everyone to have access to the arts. We welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life, disabled and non disabled people, and those of all ages. There will be British Sign Language interpreters there on Friday 31st. There is step free access throughout the building and have an accessible loo in our main building. There is parking and blue badge parking available on Crowell Road and adjacent streets. There will be a designated quiet space in the building so people can enjoy accessing the workshops and performances at the right time for them.
If you have any other access or inclusion needs or would like more information, please contact roarfestival.ark-t@gmail.com

ROAR Partners This year we have been working closely with Cowley Road Works to deliver this project and make sure it’s an integral part of a wider inclusion drive in Oxfordshire. We are working with a number of partners to bed this inclusive arts agenda within the creative communities in Oxford. These partners include artists, poets, dancers, musicians, choirs, actors and organisations who work with young disabled people as well as schools and service providors.

We believe that working together to understand one another’s needs, moves us towards more inclusive environments and ways of creating. We are grateful to our partners who have taken part in and contributed to this project. Many thanks to Cowley Road Works, KEEN, Sol Samba, Cyc de Soliel, Rose Hill Junior Youth club, The Parasol Project, Oxfordshire County Council, Handy Voices Signing Choir, BLINK Dance Theatre, Young Women’s Music Project, and My Normal Project. Also, a special thanks to our funders: Oxfordshire County Council and The England Arts Council.

The ROARSOME Collective

We know that co-production is essential to building any project successfully. As a festival that highlights and celebrates diversity and disability in the arts, we work closely with our expert committee of young disabled people, who direct and shape how the project and festival happen.

The Roarsomes meet regularly to research who is invited to perform in the festival, how the event should run and what should happen to make this as inclusive as possible for people who attend. The Roarsomes provide the crucial perspective of young disabled people who have been involved in arts and are able to share both positive experiences as well as negative ones. They provide us with the understanding of what impact inclusive arts can have and why. We thank them for their endless inspiration, knowledge and hard work to make this festival possible.

If you are a young person/ parent or carer of a young person who would like to get involved in our Roarsome Collective please contact Ali on roarfestival.arkt@gmail.com

If you would like further information on the ROAR festival please contact Lucy on lucy@ark-t.org

Praise for ROAR 2016 & 2017

‘Speeches at the beginning was very moving indeed and I loved the sign singing Handy Voices.’ –  Attendee

‘The Speeches and opening ceremony. ‘moving’ ‘thought-provoking’ ’empowering workshops and speeches. Ruth Gould speech and workshop mentioned several times.’ Roar Festival Partner

‘The whole centre being used with good flow between different areas, inclusive, safe, and comfortable. The garden area had a lovely atmosphere.’  – Roar Festival Partner

See great article from Oxford Mail from ROAR 2017!


If you want to see the video from the previous year click here

Our partners for ROAR festival are:
Bardwell Short Breaks
Autism Family Support
Cowley Road Works
Handy Voices
Oxfordshire County Council Disability Services
Yellow Submarine
Let’s Play Banbury