Music charity Attitude is Everything and Independent Venue Week (IVW) have revealed a new project to help live promoters increase inclusivity and remove barriers faced by Deaf and disabled artists.
Developed as part of Attitude is Everything’s artist development initiative “Next Stage”, this will see the two organisations team up with a group of flagship promoters on a 12-month project based around a simple ambition – to help ensure that next year’s Independent Venue Week is as accessible as possible, and equipping promoters to ensure that artists no longer hold the burden of having to bring up their access requirements.
An Attitude is Everything survey in 2019 found that 70% of artists with access requirements had withheld details of a health condition or impairment due to being worried that doing so would cause problems and impact a relationship with a promoter, venue or festival.
As a result, 2 in 3 have compromised their health or wellbeing to perform live.
Rich Legate, Attitude is Everything’s Artist Development Manager, who leads on the Next Stage initiative said:
“This campaign is going to be a hugely positive and beneficial collaboration between promoters and artists, and aims to enrich our future live music landscape. Following the results of our 2019 Next Stage survey we know that many artists with access requirements face challenges disclosing their health condition or impairment. We want to take the burden away and it’s really exciting to be tackling this in partnership with Independent Venue Week.”
Chloe Ward, Director of UK for Independent Venue Week:
“We have worked with Attitude is Everything for a number of years across their different projects and initiatives and are really chuffed to be working with them on the Next Stage project. We are lucky to work with a fantastic network of in-house and external promoters who are going to be integral in shaping the new guidelines and resources for other promoters, ultimately resulting in a more supportive and inclusive experience for all in the live music community.”
As a first step in this process, a group of flagship IVW promoters from across the UK will join a workshop hosted by Next Stage in February to discuss how they currently engage with disabled artists and where support is needed. Collaborative training and resources will be developed between these promoters and artists from the Next Stage network in the year ahead.
The initial group consists of:
- The Boileroom (Guildford)
- The Night Owl (Birmingham)
- We Broke Free (Bournemouth)
- Scruff of the Neck (Manchester)
- Communion (London)
- Ouroboros / Jazz In York (York)
Lydia Stockbridge, promoter at The Boileroom in Guildford:
“’It’s always great to work alongside IVW and Attitude is Everything, and furthering true inclusivity for all from artists, audiences, to crew. We’re humbled to be a part of this important next step, and ensuring that when we are all able to come back, we will all do so on an equal, accessible, and open platform.”
Three joint artist ambassadors for the Next Stage initiative & the FAC (Featured Artists Coalition) welcomed the announcement.
Ruth Patterson (Holy Moly & The Crackers, R PATT):
“Asking about access requirements for artists and crew should be as simple as asking for dietary requirements in riders and common practice. This will have a positive impact on artists and encourage a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone in the music industry.”
Ali Hirsz (Idealistics):
“Disabled artists are often left to fend for themselves without the right support from venues and promoters, by coming together and learning from each other we can make sure that all talent gets the chance to shine in the live music industry.”
“I look forward to a time where meeting access needs is standard practice. Deaf and disabled people will then feel included, valued, and lead happier creative lives.”
The campaign will involve promoter workshops and resources to be released later this year. If you are a promoter or work in artist liaison and are interested in playing your part, email Rich Legate to get involved (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you’re an artist, Next Stage wants to hear from you via a new survey launched today on returning to playing live.