Aussie sporting legend/triple j broadcaster/advocate for differently abled persons, Dylan Alcott, hosted the first-ever Ability Festival in Melbourne over the weekend, raising a massive $200k for his newly established charity, the Dylan Alcott Foundation.

It’s a beaut cause: the Dylan Alcott Foundation helps young Aussies with disabilities to play sport and study by offering them mentoring opportunities, grants and scholarships. Alcott told triple j Breakfast‘s Liam Stapleton and Ben Harvey this morning that the Foundation gave their first donation of a $10,000 wheelchair to an eight-year-old boy called Jin, “so hopefully he can be a Paralympian as well“.

And Alcott raised the dosh by holding an ultra-inclusive music festival, fully accessible to both differently abled and able-bodied people, with 100% of proceeds going to the Foundation. And we haven’t even mentioned the top-shelf quality of the line-up who entertained the 5000 punters at Coburg VelodromeFlight Facilities, Client Liaison and Tkay Maidza (plus plenty of other laaaarge names in Oz music).

Alcott and event organisers Untitled also announced today that Ability will be returning next year. Alcott gushed to the boyzzz about just how meaningful the day was, saying that “everybody deserves to have fun and everybody deserves to enjoy music“:

It actually was one of the best days of my life. Nobody cared about their race, gender, sexual orientation, and most importantly, their disability. I had so many people with disabilities come up [to me] and it was the first time they’d ever been to a festival with their family and friends, in tears, saying thank you.

I keep bloody tearing up thinking about it because it was one of the most special days I was involved in.

@abilityfest was without a doubt one of the most magical days of my life. I am lost for words as to how special and amazing the vibe was, and it was all because of every single one of you who came and supported. Big love to the @untitledgroupau who are some of the greatest people I have ever met and made a dream become a reality, the @dylanalcottfoundation team, every artist, every supplier, the Velodrome, volunteers, the AUSLAN interpreters (how effing good were they!!) and every single person who donated their time, I cannot thank you enough.. To see people with disabilities who had never been to a music festival in tears saying it was best day of their life, it makes me well up just thinking about it. Let’s all keep pushing for an inclusive society, because being inclusive changes lives. Love you all so much! Xx ???? @flayvaaa @kateshanasy @jackson_gallagher_ #abilityfest

A post shared by Dylan Alcott (@dylanalcott) on

Alcott said his highlight was seeing AUSLAN interpreters translating every set on the main stage into sign language, and “getting sweaty, smashing beers on stage“.

When Tkay was rapping fast and the Auslan interpreter was doing it as well as dancing at the same time? Easily the sickest thing. We had over 30 people who were deaf there that had never been able to enjoy the music festival.

Wanna do your bit to help? Alcott encourages people who didn’t make it to the fest to donate anyway HERE.

Source: Triple j
Image: Instagram / @dylanalcott