State of Access Report 2016 Published

Posted on 22.02.2016

State of Access Report 2016 Published

The State of Access Report 2016, which provides a biennial snap-shot of UK live music accessibility and the barriers that disabled music fans are facing at gigs and festivals, has been published today

The report, which is being launched at London’s Bush Hall with support from Glastonbury Festival, the Association of Independent Festivals, Bristol’s Colston Hall and Independent Venue Week, reveals that simple changes to online information provision could have a dramatic impact on the experiences of Deaf and disabled customers.

Key findings include:

1/3 of venue and festival websites provide no access information

For disabled fans, the first barrier to accessing live music typically happens before they’ve even purchased a ticket. Detailed access information on venue and festival websites is essential for 20% of the UK population to be able to determine whether they can attend an event.

2/3 of independent venues provide no access information.

The lack of access information is particularly pronounced at independent venues, where most people start their relationships with live music as both artists and audience members. A lack of information often implies poor physical access, even if that is not the case.

Less than 1/5 of websites surveyed provide ‘good’ access information

Comprehensive information is crucial – knowing whether there are two steps, or two flights of stairs, or whether you can bring a Personal Assistant, or find an area to sit down, could be the difference between a fan buying tickets or not.

The findings and conclusions are based on 280 mystery shopping reports, bespoke research including a survey of 386 venue and festival websites, and a set of case-studies drawn from the hundreds of venues and festivals that Attitude is Everything work with.

In response to the findings, we are calling on the UK live music industry to join our Access Starts Online campaign. The simple initiative supports events organisers to add a comprehensive access information page to their website via an easy-to-use online template.

The full report can be read here.

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything said:

“Digital has revolutionised the live sector and how music lovers buy tickets, find information and share their experiences. However, as highlighted in the State of Access Report, a lack of decent online access information websites has become a constant source of frustration to millions of disabled fans. Evidence suggests that many will not risk attending an event if they are unsure about access facilities. We should not be letting these online failures hold back the tide of progress, especially when they are so easy to fix. 

“Signing up to Attitude is Everythings Access Starts Online initiative is something all live music businesses can do. Not only does it cost nothing, but it represents a vital first step towards greater inclusivity and improved customer service that help these venues and festivals to reach new audiences. Working together, we can make the UKs live music sector the most accessible in the world.”

Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis, who has written the State of Access Report’s foreword, added:

“It is a vital that all festival goers can easily access clear information about how to buy tickets, what facilities are available onsite and how they can arrange for the necessary support in order to be able to attend. Were very pleased to be continuing our work with Attitude is Everything to ensure this.”