As part of January 2016’s Independent Venue Week, leading music charity Attitude is Everything has announced The Gloves Are On tour.
Headlined by Winter of ’82, the performing name of acclaimed singer and technologist Kris Halpin, the four-date tour kicks off at The Boileroom in Guildford on January 27th, before visiting Coventry, Bristol and London.
As a disabled artist Kris decided to seek technological solutions for his changing performance needs, and has worked extensively with Drake Music since 2013, becoming involved in their new partnership with award-winning artist Imogen Heap to collaborate on the development of her Mi.Mu Gloves project - exploring the music-making potential of this groundbreaking wearable technology.
With their work together attracting widespread media coverage, including the BBC, Wired and The Independent, The Gloves Are On tour will mark the first time Kris has taken these potentially game-changing handpieces on the road.
Speaking about the tour, Kris said:
“I’m incredibly excited to bring this amazing technology with me on my first UK tour. My condition has threatened to rob me of my musicianship and performing live has been increasingly difficult - however, I knew when Drake Music introduced me to Imogen Heap and the team at Mi.Mu that the gloves could give it me back.
“In reality, they bring so much more. They are an incredible instrument that allow 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.”
For Attitude is Everything, the tour also aims to increase awareness among small venues about how they can attract greater numbers of disabled fans and artists through their doors.
Despite more than 100 UK festivals and venues joining the charity's Charter of Best Practice, millions of disabled fans still encounter barriers when wanting to experience live music - from their experience booking tickets and sourcing information, through to a lack of facilities and staff training at the shows they attend.
The situation is especially pronounced at financially-pressured small venues. According to a 2015 report by the Music Venue Trust, out of 109 small UK venues surveyed, more than one third stated that they provide no access facilities.
Launched initially with the Association of Independent Festivals, this online initiative encourages event organisers to add a designated access information page to their website.
Watch Winter of '82 demoing the Mi.Mu gloves below: