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Attitude Is Everything and Independent Venue Week launch Just Ask guide and training

By | Published on Monday 31 January 2022

Attitude Is Everything

Music charity Attitude Is Everything has teamed up with Independent Venue Week – which is this week – to produce new guidance and a training programme to help independent venues and promoters increase accessibility on stage at their shows and enable more deaf, disabled and neurodivergent talent to flourish on the UK live circuit.

It’s part of Attitude Is Everything’s Just Ask campaign, which principally recommends that venues and promoters do something really simple whenever they book artists to play, simply ask “do you or any of your crew members have access requirements?”

A survey undertaken by AIE prior to the COVID-19 pandemic found that many artists withheld details about a health condition or impairment because they were worried that sharing that information could cause problems and negatively impact on their relationship with a promoter, venue or festival.

As a result, many of those artists have compromised their health or wellbeing in order to perform live. By proactively requesting this information, venues and promoters can reassure artists that providing such information won’t have any negative consequences on their booking, and therefore ensure the booking won’t have any negative consequences on each artist’s well-being.

Ahead of this year’s Independent Venue Week, a group of 20 promoters took part in a Just Ask pilot, attending a training session and using an online guide to take accessible steps when engaging with artists. That guide is now available to all on the AIE website, and the training sessions will take place on a monthly basis, with all venues and promoters encouraged to sign up. And IVW has announced that all promoters taking part in its 2023 edition will be required to put the Just Ask steps into action.

Commenting on the new initiative, AIE’s Rich Legate says: “Following the results of our survey we know there is talent out there not finding a way through, artists that avoid playing live or do so without confidence or not at the best of their abilities – we need to take the burden away from disabled artists to navigate the industry and show that they are expected and welcomed at all levels. It’s really exciting to take the work we’ve done alongside Independent Venue Week promoters to the wider live music industry”.

Meanwhile, IVW founder Sybil Bell adds: “We’ve worked with Attitude Is Everything for a number of years, across various projects and initiatives and are really pleased to be working with them on [this latest] project. We are lucky to work with a fantastic network of in-house and external promoters who have been, and will continue 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”.

The Just Ask guide and information about the training sessions are here.