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Attitude Is Everything adapts its Charter scheme for grass roots venues

By | Published on Monday 7 August 2017

Attitude Is Everything

Accessibility charity Attitude Is Everything has launched an alternative version of its Charter Of Best Practice aimed at smaller grassroots venues, promoting low or zero-cost initiatives that can make venues and gigs more accessible to disabled and deaf music fans.

The charity has now approved over 130 venues and festivals which follow is main accessibility charter. The new grass roots version will enable participation by venues which, for financial reasons, can’t realistically meet some of the commitments of the main charter – like providing a disabled toilet – providing they come up with alternative solutions, such as liaising with another local business and agreeing use of their facilities, and then signposting these for gig-goers.

The new scheme is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and backed by the Music Venue Trust. And AIE says that the grass roots charter acknowledges “the tough economic conditions that most small venues operate under”, and therefore seeks to provide some “flexibility” but “without compromising on the underlying goal of ensuring that these vital music hubs are inclusive and accessible to everyone in a local community”.

AIE boss Suzanne Bull says: “Many artists cut their teeth and hone their performances in local venues all across the UK, and to be able to open these venues up to disabled artists and audiences is really exciting. To ensure [this scheme] gets off to a flying start, Attitude Is Everything is also delighted to announce that the Grassroots Charter launches with official backing of the Music Venue Trust, and that MVT member Tunbridge Wells Forum is the first grassroots venue to be awarded a bronze level certificate”.

The co-owner of the Tunbridge Wells Forum, Richard Simm, adds: “The Forum’s honoured to have been the first venue to be accredited under this scheme. Attitude Is Everything’s advice has been invaluable in improving access by better understanding the needs of deaf and disabled patrons. Live music, enjoyed up close as only a small venue can provide, is a beautiful thing, and should be available to all – so we wish [AIE] all the best in rolling this out to other venues across the country”.