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New research highlights barriers to performance for disabled musicians

By | Published on Thursday 9 May 2019

Attitude Is Everything

New research by Attitude Is Everything highlights the “hidden barriers” faced by disabled musicians. Artists with access requirements and long-term health conditions are encountering career-damaging obstacles when seeking to rehearse, record, perform live, seek funding and access industry events, says the music charity.

The study found that 70% of disabled artists have withheld details of their condition, because they felt it would negatively impact their chances of being allowed to perform live. Two thirds said that they had negatively impacted their own health in order to be able to perform, and one in five said that they had been forced to cancel shows due to access issues.

Attitude Is Everything CEO Suzanne Bull comments: “These findings provide a snapshot of the challenges faced by a great number of artists and music makers. They will make uncomfortable reading for many in the UK music industry, but our respondents clearly raise some fundamental issues with rehearsing, recording and performing that need to be addressed. Disability cannot be treated as a taboo”.

The research has been carried out as part of the Next Stage initiative launched by the charity earlier this year, which aims to empower deaf and disabled artists in the music industry. As part of this, the issues raised by the survey will be presented and discussed at The Great Escape Conference today.

Appearing as part of a panel debate will be Mystery Jets’ Blaine Harrison, Ruth Patterson of Holy Moly And The Crackers, DJ Laura Jones, artist Roxanne de Bastion and Rich Legate from the band Childcare, who has led the Next Stage initiative.