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Next Stage Survey Reveals 2 In 3 Musicians Have Compromised Health and Wellbeing to Perform Live

Attitude is Everything’s Next Stage survey, supported by the Musicians’ Union, reveals 2 in 3 musicians have had to compromise their health and wellbeing to perform live.

Published: 09 May 2019 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:29 PM
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46% of respondents said they are disabled by physical barriers at most gigs they play, and 40% reported having their access requirements ignored or not taken seriously by venues.

These barriers are not exclusive to the live sector – 51% of people surveyed said they have encountered access related barriers when seeking to rehearse.

Common issues reported in studios include:

  • A lack of affordable step free studios.
  • Communications issue with staff.
  • Cancellation policies and minimum booking times that do not work for musicians with a disability.

Results are sadly unsurprising

Musicians’ Union (MU) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Official John Shortell said:

"The findings of Attitude is Everything (AIE)’s Next Stage survey are sadly unsurprising. Disabled musicians are still facing barriers accessing festivals and venues because musicians with impairments aren’t always considered.

“We are well aware that much more work needs to be done to highlight and break down the barriers disabled musicians experience. The Next Stage survey is a fantastic way to start those conversations and begin to build an accessible music industry.

“Improved access benefits everyone and changes don’t necessarily have to be big, structural or expensive; sometimes a conversation about access requirements is all it takes.

"Excluding disabled musicians deprives audiences of some amazing talent, more engagement with disabled musicians and a greater awareness of appropriate access requirements would really change that.

“Accessibility should never be an afterthought; all venues and festivals should be accessible to all musicians. The MU looks forward to working with AIE, venues and festivals to change the landscape for disabled musicians and open up the music industry to everyone.”

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