Liverpool Philharmonic awarded Gold for disabled access by Attitude Is Everything
Liverpool Philharmonic has been awarded Gold by Attitude is Everything, one of only nine music venues nationally to have achieved this highest standard.
Attitude is Everything aims to improve access to live music at venues and festivals for deaf and disabled people, so that they can be as independent as they want to be at live music events. They work in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry to achieve this.
Liverpool Philharmonic has been involved with Attitude is Everything for eight years and had achieved Bronze ahead of the £14.5M refurbishment of the 1939, Grade II*listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, which was completed in autumn 2015. The Hall is the home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues.
The refurbishment included the building of a new, smaller scale venue, Music Room, and significant improvements to front of house areas and facilities for all visitors and participants. It included the installation of a new lift providing access to all levels of the main Hall for the first time, improved accessibility in all parts of the auditorium (including transfer seating for wheelchair users), and the installation of a new Changing Places toilet facility.
In order to achieve Gold status, Liverpool Philharmonic has implemented additional improvements to its facilities and working practices including:
Introduction for the first time in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2018-2019 concert season, Relaxed and Dementia-Friendly Concerts. Orientation visits, consideration of lighting levels at these concerts, a British Sign Language interpreter and additional stewards to welcome customers are part of the resources introduced to ensure that customers enjoy the best experience on their visit for these concerts.
Liverpool Philharmonic has an Access Scheme which customers with access needs are encouraged to join to ensure a smoother booking process. Members of the scheme can obtain refunds or credit notes on tickets if they are unable to attend an event due to illness.
An Access Map and a set of common walking routes, complemented by a short film at which shows visitors what to expect when they arrive at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for a concert (coming soon).
Following advice from Liverpool Mencap, there will be more provision of easy read format materials on selected events. Liverpool Philharmonic currently offers the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert programmes and season brochure in large print format. These are also available on www.liverpoolphil.com.
An accessible service point has been installed in the Hall’s foyer for the sale of tickets and merchandise such as concert programmes. Customers with access needs will be offered table service if they require refreshments.
Respite spaces for those who need it are available on both the ground floor, and upper level, which is accessible by lift.
Customer-facing staff have received training on how to support visitors with visual impairment. Further training on autism awareness is set to take place over the summer.
Consultation with focus groups of customers with access needs and those with dementia and their carers will take place annually so that Liverpool Philharmonic can continually review and improve customer service, facilities and support.
Suzanne Bull MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Attitude is Everything said:
‘We are delighted to have awarded Liverpool Philharmonic the Gold award via our Charter of Best Practice, having worked together for the last 8 years. The refurbishment of the Hall makes Liverpool Philharmonic a wonderful resource for local Deaf and disabled audiences and visitors to Liverpool.
‘It is also fantastic to see Liverpool Philharmonic make great strides in accessible and inclusive information provision, partnering with local disability organisations to welcome diverse audiences. We look forward to seeing what they do next!’
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic said:
‘We are proud to have secured Gold status, one of only nine music venues nationally, of which three are in the North, to have achieved this highest standard. Like Attitude is Everything, we believe music is for everyone, and we want to make sure we welcome diverse audiences and artists through our doors to perform, participate in and enjoy music and music-making of the highest quality.
‘We are grateful to Attitude is Everything for their support in helping us to better understand Deaf and disabled people’s access requirements in our venues at both front and back front of house. Their guidance in introducing improvements across our business to improve our welcome and service for these customers has been invaluable, and it is something that we will continue work on.’
Notes to Editors
The disability-led charity and Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry to implement a Charter of Best Practice across the UK.
* More than 13.3m Deaf and disabled people live in the UK. In 2017, 3.3m disabled adults attended a live music event
* More than 155 venues and festivals have committed to improve their access facilities by signing up to Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice.
* In 2016/17, ticket sales at Charter venues and festivals increased by over 26% - contributing some £8m to the music economy.
* In July 2017, the UK Live Music Group, the body that represent the views of Britain’s live music industry, gave official backing to this Charter of Best Practice.
* In April 2018, Attitude is Everything launched the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, a group of 38 founding members comprising of umbrella bodies, ticketing companies, venues and event companies, with the joint aim to address the barriers Deaf and disabled fans can face when seeking to book access to live music.
* Over 6800 people working within the live music industry have now received Attitude is Everything training.
* Hundreds of Deaf and disabled volunteer mystery shoppers feed-back their experiences of live music to Attitude is Everything every year to support the industry to make improvements.
* In February 2017, Attitude is Everything CEO, Suzanne Bull MBE, was named by Government as Disability Champion for the Music Industry.
* In November 2017, Suzanne was inducted into Music Week’s Women In Music Roll of Honour.
* Attitude is Everything's patrons include Amadou & Mariam, Robert Wyatt and Blaine Harrison.
Find out more: www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk
Further information from Jayne Garrity, Head of Communications, Liverpool Philharmonic:
0151 210 3791 / 07967 364241, firstname.lastname@example.org