I just wanted to send a quick email thanking you for the thought and time put into making Bonnaroo as accessible as possible. I had always wanted to come to Bonnaroo but figured it would be impossible in my wheelchair. You really thought of everything and I am thoroughly impressed with the results. It's amazing that access is better on a farm in the middle of Tennessee than in some major cities. From the camping area, to accessible seating, to knowledgeable staff, to lowered counters at vendors, to places to plug in batteries and rent chairs, etc., etc., etc., you should be very proud of what you've accomplished. I can't wait to come back next year.
Thanks for a job well done!!!!
-- Erin Ryan, patron Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
"Thanks, Laura. It's great working with you. I really respect and appreciate the passion and love that you have for what you do. It's a tremendous service and I'm happy that we have the opportunity to benefit from that."
"The disability community will find no greater advocate nor anyone who will work as hard on their behalf as Laura Grunfeld. Not only did she create and implement an award-winning access program at one of the world's largest and most complex outdoor festivals, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but she did so with such passion and dedication that it has become her life's work. Her important and groundbreaking work with our large festival staff, government officials, hundreds of volunteers and members of the disability community, and her understanding of the complex regulations of the ADA, resulted in the festival's Access Program receiving awards from the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans and has made Laura the type of colleague everybody wants: incredibly intelligent, loyal and hardworking, yet uniquely compassionate and driven to inspire her whole staff to make our festival better for everyone."
-- Quint Davis, Producer and Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
"Laura, I just wanted to e-mail and thank-you again for all the help from yourself and your staff at Bonnaroo. I used to work in the music business years ago (before I became a double amputee) recording live concerts, so attending a festival such as that is a real treat for me, especially when I can get around the site so well. As a single dad (my four kids' mom passed away a couple of years ago) what usually happens is the kids having to help me around and missing the events they would like to attend, or my trusting them to go off on their own and me missing being part of their enjoyment. At Bonnaroo we all were able to share the experiences together. The work you do is SO important, for as I'm sure you know, there are millions of disabled people in this country who don't even try to attend "fun" activities either because of self-consciousness about their disability, a bad experience in the past, or fear they won't be able to get around the site, or use the bathroom, or be able to park near enough, etc. And the law says we should be able to do all these. Thank-you again and keep up the good work."
-- Dave Brown, patron, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
"What your company has done at the Jazz Fest is to make it a joy for me again. I can get around and take care of myself the way I did before I was disabled."
-- Jan Ramsey, Publisher, Offbeat Magazine
"Having a degenerative eye disease. The all but impossible task of getting through a sea of sitting festgoers with folding chairs and blankets at each stage had relegated me to find myself seated at the far outer reaches of the audiences and thereby increasingly feeling less and less a real participant in these events.. The new Handicapped Accessible areas, which Laura Grunfeld helped design, became a real Oasis of Joy. Suddenly, I was able to step out of the challenging crowds and stress and into an area that actually allowed me to relax and experience these marvelous entertainers in a way I'd never imagined. Thanks so much for the oasis!...It changed my entire Fest experience. I know now that I can continue attending and also enjoying the Jazz Fest. I will spread the word of how great the accessibility is now!"
-- H. Eric Hartman, a sight-impaired artist http://www.art-man.com/
"My husband and I would like to thank you for the excellent service that was provided by the Handicap Access Program at the New Orleans Jazz Festival 2005. I had broken my foot prior to the festival and had to wear a boot cast for six weeks. I knew that I could not hobble around the events for 4 straight days so we decided to borrow a wheelchair and make the best of it. We had no idea that a handicap service was provided for folks in wheelchairs until after we arrived at the festival. I could not have imagined a better experience and will remember it as my best Jazz Festival ever! We'd like to thank everyone who had a part in making it a great experience for us. Keep up the great work!"
-- Angela and Perry Mollan, Girdwood, Alaska