State of Access Report 2016 launching Monday

Posted on 19.02.2016

State of Access Report 2016 launching Monday

The State of Access Report 2016, which provides a biennial snapshot of accessibility in the live music industry, will be launched on Monday at London’s Bush Hall.

The report will be launched with the support of Irwin Mitchell, a leading national law firm which works with disabled people to help them regain their independence and get the most from life. The firm’s ‘Access All Areas’ campaign, launched in 2015, took this one step further by examining all aspects of the experience of Deaf and disabled music fans have when attending festivals and other major events.

In 1904 publisher WC Humdall decided to gift each of his three daughters with a dance hall, of which Bush Hall is the only survivor. This is largely due to the venue’s ability to adapt to different uses, and since its intended purpose fell away the ornate ceiling has been a roof to those seeking a soup kitchen during the Blitz, 50s housewives seeking a Bingo Hall, and even served as rehearsal space for the likes of Cliff Richard and The Who.

Bush Hall came full circle in 2001 when the dilapidated building was brought by Charlie Raworth and Emma Hutchinson, who returned the venue to its musical routes, allowing us to use the space to launch the State of Access Report 2016.

To help celebrate, we have enlisted some speakers to share their experiences of making live music accessible to Deaf and disabled music fans:

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO at Attitude is Everything
Suzanne has both a personal and professional interest in improving access to live music, so founded Attitude is Everything in 2000 and has been it's CEO since 2008. She was honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2013 for services to music, arts, and disabled people.

Lynne Carrick-Leary, Business Development Manager at Irwin Mitchell
Leading the Business Development Strategy for the Serious Injury Team nationally, Lynne works with many national charities and healthcare professionals/organisations. She is passionate about campaigning for rehabilitation access to all.

Paul Reed, General Manager at the Association of Independent Festivals
Paul has an extensive background in the live music industry; in his current role he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of AIF alongside shaping and implementing strategic development and growth, while also overseeing all campaigns, communications, partnerships and membership development.

Sophie Asquith, Music & Events Manager at Bush Hall
A graduate of Slade School of Fine Art, Sophie joined Bush Hall a year and a half ago. She loves the independent venue and the industry she has found herself immersed in.

James Hanley, Senior Staff Writer at Music Week
James was previously news editor of Audience and Live UK magazines, before moving to Music Week at the start of 2015, where he is Senior Staff Writer and Editor of the Music Week Live newsletter.

Callum Hogg, Safeguarding and Accessibility Manager at Wild Rumpus and Director of All In Access
Bringing together experience in social care, youth and community work, Callum works with festivals, events, and venues to remove barriers to access.

Christine Swain, Head of Customer Service at Colstan Hall
A staple at Colstan Hall, Christine has worked at the Bristol venue for 26 years. Her role covers all aspects of a busy concert hall environment, including box office, bars, promoters, artists, and the customers and visitors to Colstan Hall.

Del Garland, Mystery Shopper for Attitude is Everything
A lover of live music since the 60’s, Del was fortunate enough to see many of today’s legendary bands when they were starting out. A chance meeting with Suzanne Bull in 1999 inspired him to become involved with the then-new Attitude is Everything; he has served various roles for the organisation, from acting as a ‘Mystery Shopper’ to Chair of the Trustees.

The report will be published at 9am on Monday 22nd February 2016.