This week Attitude is Everything releases their third bi-annual report on the State of Access in the Live Music Industry, this year with the main emphasis being on increasing the amount of information related to accessibility which is made available online for people to make informed choices.
The findings in this report perfectly echo our own personal and professional experiences and that of disabled customers en mas and we whole heatedly welcome the report and the recommendations it contains.
This good practice has also been the foundation for recent developments which have been made to the way in which The Access Card website displays information about venues accessibility in relation to the symbols found on the card itself. Read on for more information.
The full report is available on Attitude is Everything’s website, but here are the 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
Suzanne Bull from Attitude is Everything told us:
“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 Everything’s 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 UK’s live music sector the most accessible in the world.”
The last State of Access Report coincided perfectly with the initial roll out of The Access Card as one of the key recommendations in the 2014 report was the improvement of online bookings, something The Access Card has now successfully achieved.
The availability of information online is something we have long been advocating for and is an intrinsic part of a CredAbility Quality Mark, extending well beyong live music into sport, health, leisure and much more.
Information is a great opportunity to break down perceived barriers and encourage people to get involved in things they might have otherwise avoided and written off as inaccessible.
We have recently improved our directory also to house information that speaks directly to card holders about the accessibility of a venue in relation to the symbols shown on the Card. We can now also display images and video related to access and listings for venues are completely free.
For us this is the final piece in the jigsaw which completes a great relationship between businesses and their customers.