Access to live music for disabled audiences

How can access to live music be improved for disabled audiences? Two contrasting organisations, Glastonbury Festival, the world’s largest greenfield festival, and Band on the Wall, a 340-capacity venue in Manchester, outline two approaches and suggest ways any live music organisation can become more accessible. Both organisations have attained the ‘Gold Standard’ on Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice. Attitude is Everything is a charity which works with venues and festivals to improve access provision across the industry.

Other resources for those interested in making live music more accessible include:

Attitude is Everything’s Access Starts Online guides, have been designed for venue and festival organisers, providing a template for what to include in online access information for Deaf and disabled audiences.

Attitude is Everything’s DIY Access Guide is a printable booklet is for artists, bands and promoters, sharing simple things anyone can do to make their events more inclusive and welcoming to Deaf and disabled audiences and artists.

In partnership with the British Council these guides are being translated into 11 other languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. These translated guides will be available for free download here.

Links to relevant organisations:

Attitude is Everything

Glastonbury Festival

Band on the Wall

Association of Independent Festivals: a non-profit trade association created to represent and empower independent festivals.

Independent Venue Week: a seven-day celebration of small music venues and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out.

Introduction for visually impaired users

Visually, the film is a mixture of interviews to camera, shot from the chest up, with footage of crowds and performers at Glastonbury Festival and Band on the Wall, a music venue in Manchester.

The film has four interviewees, described here in order of appearance. Lesley Boden-Barrow is a live music fan. Lesley is a wheelchair user with shoulder-length auburn hair, she is wearing a dark floral dress. Throughout the film, as well as speaking direct to camera, Lesley is seen exploring the Band on the Wall venue: eating in the café, going through corridors and revelling at the front of the crowd whilst a band performs.

Suzanne Bull MBE is the CEO of Attitude is Everything. Suzanne has shoulder length blonde hair, purple square-rimmed glasses and is wearing a striking satin embroidered bomber jacket. She is interviewed against a blurred background. For her first interview section the camera cuts between her and images of crowds enjoying Glastonbury Festival. For the second interview section with Suzanne it cuts between her and the performance at Band on the Wall.

Claire Elsam is the former Access Co-ordinator of Glastonbury Festival. Claire has shoulder length blonde hair and is wearing a blue denim jacket. Her interview is conducted in a music studio. For most of the interview, Claire acts as a voiceover and the camera cuts between scenes of viewing platforms, dancing sign language interpreters and large crowds at Glastonbury Festival.

Gavin Sharpe is the CEO of Band on the Wall. Gavin is bald and wears a navy-blue shirt underneath a black suit jacket. Gavin’s interview takes place in the main auditorium of Band on the Wall. Whilst he talks, the camera shows the outside of Band on the Wall, Lesley navigating the venue and footage of the band performing.

The film ends on footage of the crowd at Band on the Wall, including Lesley, applauding.

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