Please see festival accessibility information below. Have a question or accessibility need? You are welcome to contact the festival organizing committee at any time.
With the exception of a few events, we have scheduled most of the festival at venues that are physically accessible/barrier-free. Click here for a detailed breakdown of each of our venues, or read below for a general overview. You can also find event-specific information on our events page.
- Barrier-free entry
- Barrier-free stage access
- Physically accessible bathroom
- Gender neutral bathrooms
- All ages
- Dry/sober event
Pay what you can events
We are stoked to be offering a pay what you can (PWYC) option for a number of our festival events. Not sure what pay what you can (PWYC) means? It means just that. You choose what you can afford. We don't want cost to be barrier to your participation in the festival. While we aren't able to offer PWYC for every event, we are pleased to offer it for a number of poetry slams, showcases*, open mics and panels. See our tickets or events pages for full details.
If cost is a barrier to attending one of our non-PWYC events, we encourage you to sign up to volunteer and ask to work a shift that allows you to see some or all of the event (e.g. judge, scorekeeper, timekeeper, active listener, accessibility point person, merch/bar or door at some venues).
*Some showcases have special pricing, see tickets page
Spoken word poetry can cover a wide range of topics that may be uncomfortable or triggering for some audience members. We strongly encourage you to look after yourself - step out of the room if you need to, take a break, go outside, look at your phone, call a friend.
Another resource we offer at many events is active listeners. These are people who are trained in supporting folks who need to talk about difficult feelings or issues. Active listeners observe audiences to keep an eye out for folks who may exhibit signs of distress, provide non-judgmental active listening upon request, and direct folks to relevant resources when appropriate.
While we do our best to have active listeners present at as many events as possible, they will not be present at some events.
For competing poets, we have acquired a shared community room in the festival hotel (potel), Days Inn by Wyndham Guelph, that will be used as a quiet, sober space for those seeking it. Understanding that it can be challenging to share a room with your teammates all week, we encourage you to access this space as you need it.