Attitude is Everything has announced its ‘The Gloves Are On’ tour, which will tour small venues around the UK as part of 2016’s Independent Venue Week (25-31 January).
The music charity hopes the tour will increase awareness among small venues about how they can attract greater numbers of disabled fans and artists through their doors.
According to a 2015 report by the Music Venue Trust, out of 109 small UK venues surveyed, more than a third stated that they provide no access facilities. To combat this statistic, Attitude is Everything aims to sign small venues up to its Access Starts Online campaign over the course of the four-date tour.
“Everybody understands the importance of small venues to British music,” said Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything. “They’ve been at the heart of every groundbreaking music scene and musical innovation produced in this country.
“For those reasons, it is hugely important that disabled fans and artists are not excluded from their local music scenes, and we want the tour to raise awareness of how access barriers can be removed. The simplest way for venues to start this process is to join our Access Starts Online campaign and ensure they are providing accurate access information on their website.”
Winter of ’82 (pictured), aka singer Kris Halpin, will headline the tour, which kicks off at The Boilerroom in Guildford on 27 January. The three other dates will be held in Coventry, Bristol and London.
Halpin, a disabled artist, has sought new technology to help meet his changing performance needs. He has worked with Drake Music since 2013, and is now involved in the company’s partnership with Imogen Heap, collaborating on the development of her Mi.Mu Gloves wearable technology project.
Halpin commented: “My condition has threatened to rob me of my musicianship and performing live has been increasingly difficult. The Mi.Mu gloves are an incredible instrument that allows complex arrangements to be performed in a natural, expressive way and for the first time ever, I will be performing a live show that will bring my vision from the studio to the stage.
“As someone who has access needs, I passionately believe in the work that Attitude Is Everything are doing to make live music more accessible to disabled people. Independent Venue Week is also something I see as hugely important – it supports the most interesting and unique venues this country has to offer.”
Photo: Emile Holba