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New Attitude Is Everything report highlights need for Access Starts Online campaign

By | Published on Tuesday 23 February 2016

Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything, the charity that encourages the live music sector to improve accessibility to its events for deaf and disabled music fans, yesterday published its third State Of Access report, which sets out to review “live music accessibility and the barriers that disabled music fans are facing at gigs and festivals”.

A key finding of the report is that venues and festivals frequently fail to provide decent information online for disabled consumers, something that requires minimal investment on the part of the live industry to resolve. According to the report, a third of venue and festival websites provide no access information at all, two thirds of indie venues provide no such info online, and less than a fifth of the live sector’s websites provide sufficiently comprehensive information.

The charity notes that: “For disabled fans, the first barrier to accessing live music typically happens before they’ve even purchased a ticket. Detailed access information on venue and festival websites is essential for 20% of the UK population to be able to determine whether they can attend an event. Disabled audiences are unlikely to attend live music events unless they know their diverse range of access requirements can be met”.

As for what that information should include, the charity goes on: “Comprehensive information is crucial – knowing whether there are two steps, or two flights of stairs, or whether you can bring a personal assistant, or find an area to sit down, could be the difference between a fan buying tickets or not”.

As previously reported, Attitude Is Everything has already launched an initiative encouraging venues and festivals to provide better access information on their websites. The Access Starts Online campaign began via a partnership with the Association Of Independent Festivals last year, and yesterday the charity called on all venues and festivals to sign up.

The organisation’s CEO Suzanne Bull added: “Digital has revolutionised the live sector and how music lovers buy tickets, find information and share their experiences. However, as highlighted in the State Of Access report, a lack of decent online access information websites has become a constant source of frustration to millions of disabled fans. Evidence suggests that many will not risk attending an event if they are unsure about access facilities. We should not be letting these online failures hold back the tide of progress, especially when they are so easy to fix”.

She went on: “Signing up to Attitude Is Everything’s Access Starts Online initiative is something all live music businesses can do. Not only does it cost nothing, but it represents a vital first step towards greater inclusivity and improved customer service that help these venues and festivals to reach new audiences. Working together, we can make the UK’s live music sector the most accessible in the world”.