News

Championing disability and diversity in music and the arts

We want to be a genuine ‘music for all’ venue that attracts the best musicians regardless of whether they’re disabled or non-disabled.

Inclusivity matters to us, from Fast Forward Festival that raised the need for concert venues across the UK to improve disabled access for performers, audiences, and music pupils, to a shortlisting in the South West Tourism Awards for our work in inclusivity. Colston Hall aims to set a national benchmark for accessibility, championing disability and diversity in music and the arts.

Suzanne Bull MBE, Chief Executive of Attitude is Everything, the UK’s leading organisation on improving access to live music for Deaf and disabled people, appreciates the hard work that goes into making venues like Colston Hall more accessible. She believes it is imperative that all venues adopt this outlook towards accessibility – no audience, artist or employee should ever be left out of a venue.

She said:

It is very positive that Bristol Music Trust are working in partnership with us to develop their plans to provide better access for disabled people. We have worked with over 100 venues across the country, including the O2 London Arena and Royal Albert Hall, to improve access. The transformation plans are a really exciting opportunity for the Trust to become a high profile national example of best practice.

The Hall’s £45m transformation programme will include first class accessible facilities for disabled people both on and off the stage. Currently, Bristol Plays Music, the Trust’s education programme, provides young people with the opportunity to fulfil their artistic potential. But our education hub facilities are currently underground and inaccessible for disabled people; our stages are inaccessible for disabled musicians and our smaller hall, the Lantern, is inaccessible for disabled audiences.

A transformed Colston Hall would mean fully accessible education facilities so that around 1,800 local disabled children can learn at Colston Hall for the first time.

It is our ambition to make our concert halls accessible all year round. And the Attitude is Everything Charter of Best Practice Bronze award is an excellent start. But now, we are going for gold. World-class disabled access is a huge part of our plans.

Colston Hall’s transformation plans will put these important factors in place, making sure that Bristol leads the way in putting disabled music centre stage.

To help up us in our ambitions please ensure you have clicked the “I’m in” button and support our #45kfor45m campaign