Folks with disabilities feel CCMF accommodations lacking - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Folks with disabilities feel CCMF accommodations lacking

While people are raving about their time at the Carolina Country Music Fest, one small group is having a different experience. (Source: Conor McCue) While people are raving about their time at the Carolina Country Music Fest, one small group is having a different experience. (Source: Conor McCue)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While people are raving about their time at the Carolina Country Music Fest, one small group is having a different experience. They are folks with disabilities, and they say they just want to enjoy the shows too.

Melanie McDonald traveled all the way from Indiana for the Carolina Country Music Fest, but for her, that trip was nothing compared to her short trip across the pavilion.

While there was plenty of open space, it wasn't always easy to get around in her wheelchair.

"It's pretty frustrating,” She said.

That trek isn't even at the top of her list this weekend though. McDonald says once she gets to the designated handicap area it's full of folks who aren't supposed to be there.

She says Friday night the area was packed, and she couldn't see the bands she traveled so far to see.

"I love Country Music, and love some of the artists, and not being able to see them is pretty frustrating," McDonald said.

"It was just a lot of people taking up space. There was more people taking up space that weren't disabled,” said Denzel Strayhorn, a security guard at the designated handicap area.

The festival's security team says it saw those same problems last night, and wants to fix them.

Now, they are more careful letting people in those designated areas, and only allow one companion with each disabled visitor.

The folks we spoke to in that area say with a new concert they expected some bumps along the road, and hope next year goes more smoothly.

“People have been reacting to the changes, you know, a couple people giving grief, but other than that it's been great. Everything has been going smoothly, everybody is happy, and safe, and that's what we need,” explained Strayhorn.

One other issue some folks with disabilities are running into is the distance to the bathrooms.

They say they hope next year there can be some designated bathrooms closer to accommodate them.

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