Mbongwana Star’s UK Tour is 100% Accessible
Posted on 03.06.2016
Mbongwana Star. Photo by Florent de La Tullaye.
Attitude is Everything are proud to announce our involvement in the upcoming UK tour by hugely acclaimed Kinshasa band Mbongwana Star.
We’ve worked in close partnership with the band’s booking agent ATC Live, to ensure the resulting 11-date headline tour, which starts on 9th June at Cardiff’s Festival of Voices, will be 100% accessible for both band members and audiences. The tour is supported by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts fund.
Cecile Communal at ATC Live, Mbongwana Star’s booking agent, highlights the work that went into making this happen:
It was surprisingly rather difficult to find venues across the UK that were accessible for the band backstage, as well as for the audience – but we’re proud to have successfully made this tour 100% accessible and hope it will encourage agents, bands, managers and venues alike to think more deeply about accessibility and to support initiatives like Access Starts Online.
All of the venues and festivals involved are either signed up to our Charter of Best Practice or have pledged to support our Access Starts Online campaign, a recently-launched initiative that aims to improve the quality of access information available on venue and festival websites. This simple and affordable step is vital for Deaf and disabled fans, who may not buy a ticket if they are unsure about the access facilities provided.
Our CEO, Suzanne Bull MBE said:
Helping to develop this all-accessible tour for Mbongwana Star has been a real highpoint for Attitude is Everything, and encapsulates what our charity is about - working with a truly forward-thinking partner like ATC Live to help bring one of the world’s most exciting live bands to fans from all backgrounds. This is truly ‘music without barriers’. I hope it leads to more venues and festivals coming onboard and supporting our Access Starts Online campaign.
The tour has also helped further enhance relationships between Attitude is Everything and the live music sector. For instance, Brighton’s Komedia, having refreshed it’s website to meet the requirements of Access Starts Online, will soon be making the step-up to Charter status.
Lex Hollingworth, Production Manager at Komedia Brighton, said:
At Komedia we have always aimed to continuously improve accessibility to our venue, and working to join Attitude is Everything’s Access Starts Online campaign was a great process for us to go through. It helped us to make improvements that we wanted to make but were not sure how, and it was also very quick and easy. The work we have done to create an accessible venue enables us to host great bands such as Mbongwana Star, who are performing here on 13th June.
This will be Mbongwana Star’s first full headline UK tour, and comes 12 months after the release of their debut record ‘From Kinshasa’ on World Circuit. The album has been described as ‘astonishing’ by The Independent and '… a gripping mix of excitement, apprehension and sensory overload' by The Guardian. It appeared in several end of year charts including Uncut, Q, Mojo, The Quietus, New York Times and The Observer. Following a few exclusive sold out shows in London last year, the band were invited to perform on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’. Watch their performance of Suzanna below.
If you missed out on tickets last year, now is your chance to see them perform! Check out their tour dates below.
Mbongwana Star UK Tour Dates
09/06/2016 Festival of Voices, Cardiff
11/06/2016 The Sage, Gateshead
12/06/2016 Field Day, London
13/06/2016 Komedia, Brighton
14/06/2016 Arts Centre, Norwich
16/06/2016 CCA, Glasgow
19/06/2016 Africa Oye, Liverpool
21/06/2016 The Lantern, Colston Hall, Bristol
22/06/2016 Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
23/06/2016 Band on the Wall, Manchester
25/06/2016 Glastonbury Festival