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Charity of the Month February 2019 - Attitude is Everything

19 February 2019

Each month, tickets bought through our website help raise funds for a charity or social cause. Funds raised in February (10% of our booking fee and any added donations), will be going to Attitude is Everything, our Charity of the Month.

Attitude is Everything is a disability-led charity with 18 years of experience supporting non-profit and commercial organisations to make what they do more accessible and inclusive for Deaf and disabled people. The charity works in partnership with the music industry to ensure that Deaf and disabled people are as independent as they want to be at live music events.

Suzanne Bull, CEO of the charity and the DWP’s Sector Champion for the Live Music Industry for 2017, had a great chat with us about the charity’s work and vision.

“Attitude is everything started in 2000 and it was meant to be a one-year pilot program. It was so successful that it just continued until we managed to get funding to become our own charity on the 1st of April 2008! Our aim is to work in partnership with audiences, artists and the live music industry to improve deaf and disabled people access to live music.”

-What impact do you think it has on disabled people?
-I think the impact is massive! Probably more massive than I ever ever considered, really and truthfully! I think it’s the figures that you see. Numbers from 2015 from charted venues and festivals show that 140.000 people were accessing them, while 170.000 people accessed last year. The first year that we’ve measured the spent -2013/2014- was 3.4 million. 2017/2018 was 8 million. In audiences, that’s actually a huge jump. When we began with Attitude is everything there was this sort of idea; “Do you think disabled people want to go to gigs and festivals, isn’t it a bit too much for them?” And look how much it has changed!
The other thing I haven’t realised is the impact that massively goes out through live music.  When we surveyed our volunteers, 70% of people felt they were useful. That’s the first time that they felt useful in their lives and that was quite a big shock to me. 75% of the people said that they made friends. Some people said that they never met anyone with the same disabilities with them before, or shared anything or talked about it or really understood it from another person with the same disabilities perspective. 84% have asked for more volunteering, more skills building. They feel that they can go out and have the confidence to do more things that are sort of like music or seeking employability.

-Where Attitude is Everything going next?
-It’s really exciting, actually. For the first time we’ve got a dedicated program for disabled artists called “Next stage” and we’re looking at what support disabled artists need. It’s really about the talent pipeline. There might be people coming out of music education or using non-traditional roots to learn music and where they gonna go, where are the careers for them, can they tour, can they have the confidence to network? The other thing about the next stage is getting disabled artists to work out there digitally and trying to set up to a sort of touring circuits as well.

-Can you tell us a bit more about the Ticketing without barriers coalition?
-The Ticketing without barriers coalition the launch of the state of access report in 2019, which is our report we produce every 2 years and gives us a snapshot of what disabled and deaf fans are facing in the music industry. We already have put together some guidelines with STAR(The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) in 2014 but there was still overwhelming stuff that we needed to come back to in 2018. So we’ve got a set of 5 things that we want to change and we want the ticketing industries to work towards on and venues and promoters to make things easier. They include:

  • Having a universal card system, which has got proof of your access requirements.
  • Evidencing; the letters you might have to produce, the blue badge
  • Options. Disabled fans don’t have options on how they book their tickets.
  • Pre-sell tickets and accessible places being included.
  • and lastly promoters understanding the needs of disabled people, what they really require

Check out our video with a short preview of Suzanne's interview