State of Access Report 2014

The State of Access Report allows Attitude is Everything to publicly examine the detailed feedback that we receive from our Deaf and disabled Mystery Shoppers about live music events. By analysing the mystery shopping reports, we can identify trends and issues that Deaf and disabled people are facing when trying to access gigs at UK music venues and festivals.

The State of Access Report is based on 228 mystery shopping reports, 159 from venues and 69 from festivals, 40 questionnaires, and 13 interviews collated between April 2011 and March 2013.

Accessible ticketing
The most commonly reported issue from the Mystery Shoppers was the inequality of booking systems, by not allowing Deaf and disabled customers to purchase tickets in the same way as non-disabled people.

  • 95% had experienced disability-related issues when booking tickets.
  • 88% felt discriminated against due to an inaccessible booking system.
  • 83% had been put off buying tickets after finding it inaccessible.
  • 47% considered taking legal action as a result.

When we surveyed 10 of the leading UK music venues to check on their accessible ticket buying policies, the majority of them were providing different services to their disabled and non-disabled customers. Only 2 allowed online purchasing of tickets, one of the options available to all of the non-disabled customers and the preferred option for 75% of our Mystery Shoppers, with the rest providing a telephone number with limited opening hours.

There is a clear correlation between the capacity of the event and whether or not they offer free Personal Assistant tickets.

  • 38% of small venues, compared with 61% of large venues.
  • 75% of small festivals, compared with 88% of large festivals.

Gaining entry to the event
Mystery Shoppers reported that 66% of the venues they attended had a step-free entrance, but just 44% of the venues visited had all three key components of physical access: a step-free entrance, step-free routes to all areas of the venue, and at least one functional accessible toilet.

Access around the event
There is a clear correlation between the capacity of the event and the likelihood of finding an accessible toilet.

  • 89% of large venues and 88% of large festivals provided accessible toilets compared to just 62% and 82% of small venues and festivals.

Accessing the performance
The viewing platform is probably the key factor that influences both the accessibility ratings from our Mystery Shoppers, and overall enjoyment of the event.

  • 42% of venues and 67% of festivals had viewing platforms or areas.
  • The average access rating for venues with a viewing platform is 7.1 out of 10, compared to 5.1 without.
  • The average access rating at festivals falls from 6.2 out of 10, to 4.3 when there is no platform present.


Infographic for the State of Access Report

State of Access Report 2014: Surveying UK Live Music Accessibility for Deaf and Disabled People