State of Access Report 2016

The State of Access Report is intended to provide a biennial snap-shot of the live music industry when it comes to accessibility and inclusion for Deaf and disabled people. The aim is to highlight areas of good practice and progression, both in terms of those venues and festivals that have benefitted directly from our assistance, but also across the wider industry. At the same time, the report is an opportunity to reflect upon the barriers that Deaf and disabled people continue to face, and consider best practice solutions.

The third State of Access Report, published in February 2016, revisits many topics highlighted in the previous two reports, with central themes being the importance of access information provision, the benefits of viewing access as an extension of customer service, and the need for facilities to be fit for purpose.

As Attitude is Everything has tracked the state of access across live music events over multiple years, it has become clear that there is growing momentum when it comes to positive change in this field. There now exists a significant body of best practice within the industry that is closely related to the work and campaigns carried out by Attitude is Everything since 2000. However, Deaf and disabled people still face significant barriers at all stages of seeking to and actually attending live music events, as presented in this report.

The findings and conclusions of the 2016 edition are based on 280 mystery shopping reports by Deaf and disabled people, 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 Attitude is Everything works with. 

Key findings

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. Disabled audiences are unlikely to attend live music events unless they know their diverse range of access requirements can be met.

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 report is supported by leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell and Arts Council England

Download the report

State of Access Report 2016 - Executive Summary

State of Access Report 2016

Infographic (PDF)

Press Release


State of Access Report 2016: A survey of UK live music accessibility