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As we approach the end of the year, Attitude is Everything takes the opportunity to look back at some of our glorious achievements. 2015 was a special year for us as in May 2015, we celebrated our 15th Anniversary at Rich Mix, Shoreditch. Melvin Benn of Festival Republic was our keynote speaker. Also in 2015:

• We were awarded an “Inspired by 2012” Mark by the Cabinet of Inclusive Events
• We won an Accessible Britain Challenge Award in the Inclusive Social Activities category
• We achieved our 100th Charter sign up – the Boileroom, Guildford

In 2015, the total economic contribution in tickets sales from Deaf and disabled people increased from £3.4m to £5.4m and for every £1 we received from the Arts Council England (in funding) – £31 was spent at Charter venues and festivals by Deaf and disabled music fans, their friends and family.

You can learn more about the impact of our work here.

Following on from our first Artist Engagement campaign, #MusicWithoutBarriers, Toy played our Club Attitude event in March 2015. Hatcham Social Club and new disabled artists Hulkenberg also supported with BBC Radio’s Huw Stephens and Josie Long compering the event.

We created a new partnership with Heavenly Recordings and added 2 new elements of accessibility – captioning for hard of hearing audiences and live streaming which reached approximately 1,700 audience members (watching the live stream and at the event).

In terms of how we influenced changes at our Charter Venues:
– They sold 107,819 tickets to disabled customers (up from 61,956 in 2013) which is an 88 per cent increase
– Ticket sales to disabled customers made up 0.71 per cent of the overall ticket sales (up from 0.45 per cent in 2013)
– 38 per cent sold tickets to disabled people online, compared to 88 per cent by telephone and in person
– 54 per cent required proof of eligibility for a free PA ticket
– 22 per cent offered BSL services to Deaf customersSimilarly, this is how we influenced changes at Charter Festivals:
– They sold 6,124 tickets to disabled customers (up from 4,559 in 2013) which is a 34 per cent increase
– Ticket sales to disabled customers made up 0.66 per cent of the overall ticket sales (up from 0.53 per cent in 2013)
– There were 60 viewing platforms or areas at the Charter festivals 78 music stages, representing 77 per cent coverage
– 100 per cent required proof of eligibility for a free Personal Assistant ticket

Mystery Shopping is the keystone of our work. Our team of 415 Deaf and disabled music fans feedback on the accessibility and overall experience at live music events. The outcomes that our volunteers secured include:

• Glastonbury Festival – a High Dependency Unit was installed for first time in the accessible campsite
• Bestival – implemented the Personal Assistant lanyard for first time so that disabled customers don’t have to stay with the same family member or friend throughout their whole time on the platform
• Just So Festival – their access information was completely re-written according to best practice advice given by us
• Boileroom – they adopted a new viewing area policy
• LG Arena – a “Changing Places” Toilet was built in the venue

Each summer, we recruit and prepare a team of Deaf and disabled stewards to work in the information tents, accessible campsites and on viewing platforms at festivals, as part of the official stewarding teams of Oxfam, Glastonbury and SFM Security Consultants. In 2015, we created 46 volunteer and employment opportunities for Deaf and disabled people at major music festivals in the UK.

In terms of making ticketing fully inclusive and accessible, which was an outcome from our State of Access Report 2014, the outcomes so far have been fantastic:

• We have developed a great relationship with STAR (Society of Ticketing Agents and Retailers) and ticketing agents and accessibility is on their agenda.
• Ticket sales to disabled customers was planned to go online at O2, Genting, Barclaycard and Capital FM arena in 2015
• The “Credibility” Access Card (a method of proving eligibility for accessible tickets) is now accepted at a number of high profile venues and festivals around the country
• We developed a relationship with ticketing start up Una Tickets, to make their service accessible from the outset

We’ve got some exciting projects coming up in 2016, which include:

#AccessStartsOnline – in November 2015, Attitude is Everything and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) partnered on new digital campaign to provide improved online information for disabled music fans, and the campaign is to be rolled out to the wider live music industry by early 2016.

State of Access Report launch February 2016 – The Report gives us the opportunity to publicly examine the detailed feedback that we receive from our Deaf and disabled Mystery Shoppers about live music events.

It just leaves for me to wish everyone Season’s Greetings and I’ll catch up with you all from January 2016 onwards.

Suzanne Bull MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Attitude is Everything