Introducing the Charter of Best Practice 1.5

Posted on 02.05.2017

Introducing the Charter of Best Practice 1.5

Attitude is Everything are pleased to announce the new, updated Charter of Best Practice 1.5, which includes developments in access information, backstage access and a new section on respite and sensory spaces.

We regularly undertake a review of the Charter, updating and refreshing its guidance and requirements to ensure the standards it provides are up to date, responsive to research and in line with the latest developments in best practice accessibility.

All areas of the Charter have been reviewed, some of which have seen major changes, and some new areas have been added. Many of these changes and additions were influenced by the findings of our 2016 State of Access Report, which highlighted a range of areas for development. We are happy to have now incorporated these changes, keeping the Charter on the cutting edge of live music accessibility.

Access Starts Online

One area highlighted by the 2016 report was access information, which wasn’t provided by 1/3 of venue and festival websites, rising to 2/3 for independent venues and festivals, leaving Deaf and disabled customers in the dark about access. In addition, only 1/5 of venues and festivals provided information rated as ‘good’.

This needed to change, so in response we launched the successful Access Starts Online campaign for complete access information, which has already seen a number of Charter and non-Charter venues and festivals sign up.

The Charter of Best Practice 1.5 incorporates the full Access Starts Online guidance, requiring all Charter venues and festivals to provide comprehensive access information in line with the guide.

Access Goes Beyond the Audience

Our 2015 survey of Deaf and disabled artists, run in partnership with Musician’s Union, highlighted a number of issues with backstage access, from physical barriers, lack of staff awareness, scarcity of information, and misuse of facilities:

“Accessible toilets are rare, but when they are present they often ‘double up’ as store rooms.”

In response to this, we’ve updated Backstage and Stage Access section of the Charter to include the requirement that all Charter venues and festivals include information about backstage access provision in tech specs.

Away from the Crowd

Mencap’s 2015 Little Noise survey found that 82% of young people with a learning disability would like to go to more live music events. However, many live music events can be busy, loud, and overwhelming for many with a learning disability, as well as others such as people with anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions, autism, or a sensory sensitivity.

A simple way of accommodating people who, for a variety of reasons, may find the live music environment challenging, is to provide a respite or sensory space – a calm place away from noise and crowds. This example helps demonstrate the different range of access needs a respite space can cater for.

We’ve included a new section on Respite and Sensory Space in the updated Charter, introducing the concepts and providing a range of ideas on how venues and festivals can incorporate these into their offer.


If you work for a venue or festival and would like to find out more about how we can support you to improve accessibility, please get in touch with Gideon (venues) or Paul (festivals).

You can also find out how to purchase our Charter of Best Practice Toolkit here.