A new investigation by Attitude Is Everything (AIE) found that 50 per cent of disabled music fans were eagerly awaiting to return to full capacity concerts after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The disability charity has worked towards accessibility in the live music industry for two decades. The news comes in the wake of an online survey where they polled 289 people between July 19 and August 1.
According to their findings, 74 per cent of participants, who are all keen concert-goers, require additional access. This includes accessible seating, companion tickets, step-free access and accessible toilets at shows. Half of the participants said they would be comfortable attending an indoor show providing the venue had adequate accessibility measures in place.
Furthermore, 35 per cent of those polled had already booked tickets for an upcoming indoor event, with 38 per cent planning to attend at least one indoor show come to the end of 2021.
In Music Week, Attitude Is Everything founder, Suzanne Bull MBE, explained: “In 2019, disabled people were big consumers of live events. In fact, in the years before the pandemic, the economic spend from disabled people attending live music grew from £3.4million in 2013 to £9.3m in 2019, so there was always going to be a huge demand from the disabled community to return to live events.”
However, Bull did acknowledge that disabled live music fans have “real and deep-seated fears” about the safety of live events in the post-lockdown world. She added: “I urge the live events sector to address concerns and make demonstratable efforts to welcome those with access requirements back to their venues and events, and for artists to become actively involved in this welcome.”
96 per cent of those studied agreed. They argued that it is essential for organisers and venues to engage with disabled fans who might have concerns about returning to these environments.
Subsequently, the poll revealed that 42 per cent of those who took part were unable to accept that a live venue would be a safe space for them to visit. 24 per cent even said they wouldn’t be attending indoor shows till at least 2022.
On the other hand, 73 per cent said they would feel more comfortable at outdoor events, owing to less of a chance of contracting Covid-19. The charity also found that 83 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of venues requesting the NHS vaccination passport to visit events. The study then went one step further in revealing that 67 per cent of those claimed they would actively choose a venue that asks for the documentation over one that doesn’t.
Watch some of AIE’s work below.