The festival raised the profile of the need for concert venues across the UK to improve disabled access for performers, audiences, and music pupils. It included a performance by British Paraorchestra, the 26 piece orchestra conducted by Charles Hazlewood, in front of over 600 people.
In order to stage the Festival, the Hall carried out £10,500 of disabled adaptations, including a ramp for performers to get onto the stage.
Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust, said, “Through our £45 million transformation, our ambition is to make our concert halls and music education facilities accessible all year round.”
Kerry McCarthy, Member of Parliament for Bristol East, gave an impassioned speech to a reception held before the British Paraorchestra concert about the need for venues to provide better disabled access. She said, “Society must change its perceptions and attitudes to disability. The people who performed during the Fast Forward Festival showed the nation that being disabled isn’t a barrier to excellence.”
The ‘Thank You for the Music’ appeal launched in September 2014 is already a third of the way to its £45 million target after commitments by Bristol City Council and the Government. Bristol Music Trust is now making the case for a further £5 million investment from the Government. The redevelopment is due to take place in 2017 and completed by 2019.
Attitude is Everything has praised Colston Hall for the following:
* Long term commitment to improving access for customers, performers and staff
* Good quality and accurate web info for deaf and disabled customers
* Implementing a new booking system that will include an access address book to ease return visits
* Accessible toilets
* All the management team and front of house staff have undergone disability and equality training
What is your favourite accessible venue?
Find out about accessible theatre here.