The live music industry has an estimated $3.5B value and contributes to Melbourne’s thriving night-time economy. State government has also “placed creativity at the heart of Victoria’s recovery and prosperity”. Working with access consultants and advisors Morwenna Collett, Amanda Lawrie-Jones and Olivia Muscat, the project assessed the online and on-site accessibility of live music venues across these precincts, with the goal of helping venues identify areas for improvement and investment.

The project’s ultimate goal was to provide Deaf and Disabled audiences, artists and staff more equitable access to Melbourne’s live music industry. The project worked with 31 City of Melbourne and City of Yarra music venues online and 7 venues on-site, the project provided specialised training and recommendations to each participant.

The Accessible Venues Program helped venues identify:

  • Actions to make their venues and productions more welcoming and inclusive.
  • How to meet community expectations and legislative requirements for disability access and reduce the risk of a complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • ‘Quick wins’ that require little resourcing, ideas for getting started and potential funding sources for some of the bigger items.
  • The project emphasises that “access starts online”, advocating for digital accessibility as well as physical. By focusing on ‘achievable accessibility’, this project aimed to demonstrate that solutions to access barriers exist and many can be implemented with budget, heritage or building constraints.