Live Music Census highlights need for better accessibility at gigs

Posted on 16.02.2018

Live Music Census highlights need for better accessibility at gigs

The findings of the country’s first ever live music census, published today, highlight the immense value of the UK’s live music scene, and the work that still needs to be done to ensure it is accessible to Deaf and disabled fans.

Venues, promoters, musicians and audiences were surveyed in the census, which covered a range of areas, including the economic and cultural value of live music, challenges facing the sector, and issues such as accessibility and sustainability.

Attitude is Everything were privileged to participate in a focus group at the design stage of the census, and contribute questions about accessibility for the survey.

The responses to these questions (on page 41 of the report), while promising in some respects – for example, 90% of promoters saw accessibility as an essential or desirable feature when choosing a venue – paint an overall picture of a live music scene that isn’t meeting the needs of Deaf and disabled music fans in a number of areas.

Thankfully, many issues the report highlights are easy and cheap to rectify:

Access Information

Only 26% of venues surveyed had information on their websites for Deaf and disabled customers. Putting access information on your website enables people to make an informed choice about visiting – and is free & straightforward using our Access Starts Online guidance.

Awareness Training

Another area for concern is staff awareness. 47% of venues have not had Disability Awareness Training, nor have the vast majority of promoters – a massive 86%. We offer Disability Equality Training packages to venues as well as open sessions for individuals.

Personal Assistant Tickets

Only 7% of promoters surveyed offered Personal Assistant (PA) tickets as standard. This presents a significant barrier, as many disabled people are unable to attend events without someone else’s support – create an appropriate PA ticket policy using our free guidance.

The report recommends that venues, promoters and musicians work with Attitude is Everything to incorporate low- and no-cost approaches to improve accessibility. As well as following the advice above, we recommend that: