In 2010, Tower Hamlets Council made Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice an Event Standard for all festivals that take place in Victoria Park, following on from using Paradise Gardens, the fantastic free community festival, as a pilot project. Funding for this important initiative has come from One Tower Hamlets.
Attitude is Everything staff arranged Disability Equality Training and Action Planning meetings with representatives from Loud Sound, MAMA Group, AEG Live Ticketing, Eat Your Own Ears, and event team members of all festivals. Loud Sound have taken the lessons learned from these meetings and implemented them across all the festivals they work with, including producing a Company Access Policy.
All Victoria Park festivals were mystery shopped in both 2010 and 2011 so that feedback could be passed onto events organisers and areas for improvement and potential solutions were identified for events in 2012.
In July 2011 Lovebox, High Voltage, Field Day, Underage, The Apple Cart and LED (London Electronic Dance Festival) all signed up to the Charter of Best Practice as this became embedded into all contractual arrangements for commercial events.
Loud Sound have committed to moving forward by taking Apple Cart, Field Day and LED to the Silver Level of the Charter of Best Practice and intend to use the Charter of Best Practice as an event standard at all of the festivals they work at such as Rockness. This has already been implemented at 7UP Winter Wonderland in Dublin, which has become the first Attitude is Everything Charter of Best Practice Festival outside of the UK.
Papa Group are working with Attitude is Everything to get Lovebox up to the Silver level of the Charter and also working towards bringing both Wilderness and Vintage Festival onto the Charter at Bronze level.
The project received excellent press coverage, including articles in, Music Week, Record of the Day and E-Festivals and has been billed as a shining example of Best Practice in how to work with Local Authorities to make disabled access an Event Standard.
- The majority of festivals saw an increase in the number of Deaf and disabled customers attending their events.
- Feedback from Mystery Shopping reports has shown a general increase in the approval rating of access at these festivals, particularly around pre event information, ticketing and staff attitude. Wherever issues have been identified with access and staffing, they have been raised with the festivals and appropriate action has been taken to improve the access in 2012.
- Both Loud Sound and MAMA Group have reported large reductions in the amount of administration and time spent dealing with enquiries from disabled customers due to improving the quality of the access information available before the event.
“Tower Hamlets Arts and Events are committed to the Charter of Best Practice and have achieved bronze level for the Council run Paradise Gardens event. To further our commitment to Best Practice we engaged Attitude is Everything to work with commercial event’s organisers presenting major events in the borough. Attitude is Everything has successfully worked with major event organisers to sign up to the Charter of Best Practice. This has included Attitude providing information, training and action planning sessions, with regular progress meetings and on-call support.
The intention is for the events to reach a Bronze level of charter or above during the 2011 festival season. The event organisers have be responsive and have fed back to us how valuable the training and guidance Attitude is Everything provided has been; additionally they have also reported a increase in ticket sales to date from disabled patrons due to the new measures they have been implementing.”
Pam McCrea, Senior Arts & Events Manager at Tower Hamlets
"Field Day, The Apple Cart and Underage Festival are delighted to sign up to the Charter of Best Practice. We look forward to working together with Attitude Is Everything to make our festivals accessible to more people.”
Tom Baker and Marcus Weedon, EatYourOwnEars
“Working with Attitude Is Everything has encouraged us to take a fresh look at the facilities we provide at festivals we manage, helping our clients to put on great shows, accessible to everyone. It has been a very useful and structured process and one we are looking forward to continuing as more of our festival clients sign up to the Charter.”
Ruth Dronfield, Project Assistant for Loud Sound working on LED, Field Day and Underage Festival
“We are delighted to have signed up to The Charter of Best Practice. Our disabled customers’ feedback to our event plans all generally seem a lot happier with the service we are to provide, and this positive sentiment has circulated and therefore increased the attendance of disabled patrons.
Sales of tickets to disabled customers are roughly double what they were in 2010. High Voltage sales are up on 2010 as well. We have also gleaned the added operational benefit of improving our own methodology on disabled access.”
Julian Butterfield, Head of Operations at Lovebox