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Lecturer takes action to make live events more accessible and environmentally friendly

A University of Gloucestershire lecturer is paving the way to making live events more accessible and environmentally friendly after playing a central role in the production of a sophisticated but easy-to-use industry-leading toolkit.

Andrew Lansley, Senior Lecturer in Music Business within the University’s School of Creative Industries, designed the Donut Assessment Tool for Events (DATE) after collaborating with a range of partners, including Cheltenham Borough Council and leading arts charity Cheltenham Festivals.

DATE provides event organisers, including local authorities, with an accessible and free-to-use solution to understanding their commitment and practices in key areas around accessibility and sustainability impact.

Vision: 2025 – a network of more than more than 500 outdoor events – collaborated with Andrew Lansley to embed its Green Events Code within the newly developed tool kit. DATE’s Accessibility section is based on the Live Events Access Charter devised by Attitude is Everything, which campaigns for improved access for disabled people at live events.

These elements were combined with a project assessment tool used by Cheltenham Borough Council, while Cheltenham Festivals provided Andrew Lansley with a sustainability-focused environment that helped to facilitate the project’s completion.

Andrew Lansley, whose contribution to a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport enquiry into the future of UK Festivals had a particular focus on accessibility and sustainability, said: “It’s been great to help these organisations collaborate over the past year, with the sole aim of producing something for the benefit of the industry, without a commercial agenda. 

“The potential positive impact of DATE across the events sector is very exciting indeed. This free-to-use toolkit will make a genuine difference across our whole industry.”

Ali Mawle, co-Chief Executive Officer of Cheltenham Festivals, said: “Cheltenham Festivals is committed to widening participation in, and access to, the arts both now and in the future. Accessibility and sustainability are at the heart of that.

“We hope that the DATE toolkit will enable us as a cultural sector to make significant strides towards meeting mutual commitments to our communities and environments.”

Andrew Lansley and Vision: 2025 will work together with other partners, including Manchester City Council, to explore how the DATE toolkit and Green Events Code can provide workable solutions across a range of uses and contexts.

Chris Johnson, Vision: 2025 chair, said: “DATE is easy to use for events and local authorities who are not experts on measuring impacts. It’s exactly what the industry needs to take first steps, or further steps, in understanding impacts at scale, without cost burden.”

Students from the University’s Music and Sound degree programmes have helped to shape the future of music festivals in collaboration with Festival Republic – the largest festival company in the UK and part of the Live Nation family – by working at a series of festivals as part of a research and development project that is enhancing sustainability practices.

Image: Andrew Lansley (right), Senior Lecturer in Music Business within the University’s School of Creative Industries, with Christopher Johnson, Vision: 2025 chair