Tibi – A Force To Provide Inclusivity At All Gigs

WORDS BY
Jacqui James 

ON SATURDAY MARCH 19 the inaugural Groove Tunes will take stage at one of Melbourne’s iconic pubs The Corner Hotel featuring artists including The Grogans, Matilda Pearl and many other artists and entertainers.

This fabulous event is the baby of the owner and founder of Tibi Access Dina Bassile who was inspired when she was at university being prompted by a lecturer saying “if you want to stand-out in this industry you need to find the gap and fill it.”. So that is exactly what Dina did.

After conducting a survey in 2018 Tibi discovered participants had expressed the fear of lack of access as their main reason for not attending gigs.

In light of the survey, Groove Tunes will provide ‘Auslan interpreters, printed braille tickets, in-venue access ramps and lowered bar access, accessible signage, a sensory zone and sensory packs, on-stage lyric videos, as well develop an accessible website and keep ticket prices low for the music industry and disability community alike.’

You can purchase your tickets to Groove Tunes HERE.

Last month I had a great chat with Dina who might give the entertainment industry a much-needed shake up regarding accessibility for all.

G’day Dina! It’s great to meet you! Like you, I’m in the category of one in people five Australians living with a disability; I use a wheelchair and love going to gigs but have constantly faced challenges at venues. So, I applaud you for getting inaugural Groove Tunes happening in March!
Before you were the consultant and event manager of Tibi, which you founded, did you go to a gig one time and thought “That’s it! Things must change for people with disabilities and I’m going to make that happen!”?

Tibi was founded not long after I’d finished my university degree. When I was coming to the end of my degree, I was a little lost as to what it was I wanted to do within the music and arts industry. I remember having a conversation with one of my lecturers and she said to me, “if you want to stand-out in this industry you need to find the gap and fill it,’ from there it was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. I have grown up around live music and seen first-hand the lack of access in our industry. This is where Tibi started, and I began advocating for people with disability and equal access within live music and events.

I bet when people heard about Tibi, you received lots of suggestions and ideas from the public? What is the most important or necessary thing people requiring at gigs?

I was very grateful to receive a lot of positive feedback from the disability community when Tibi started. People were excited to see a disability led company taking on the world of live events. One of the most important things to remember is no two persons access requirements will be the same. That is why it is crucial to have as much information provided online. This allows people with disability to step into a space confidently with knowledge of what is available to support their access requirements. If a person cannot find the answer to their question or need clarification on something, have a contact number or email available where someone from your team can answer all access related queries.

With the current COVID-19 climate, what do you say to people who are really keen to attend Groove Tunes, but they’re very weary attending?

At Groove Tunes we are following all of the necessary guidelines to ensure our staff and more importantly punters are covid safe. We have a limited capacity to allow for social distancing, all staff, volunteers and punters must be fully vaccinated to attend, hand sanitiser will be across our venue, all items used in the sensory space will be thoroughly sanitised throughout the evening and all staff and guests will be temperature checked at the doors.

It is of highest priority that our audience feel safe and protected at Groove Tunes.

What are your hopes and aspirations for inclusivity at ALL gigs in the future?

I believe that we are taking the right steps forward towards creating more inclusive spaces at gigs, within venues and at festivals. Businesses are realising the disabled community is a large market that has been excluded in the past and it is time to make change. By creating an event like Groove Tunes, I hope that we can showcase what EVERY event should look like by implementing the quick wins of accessibility. Tibi Access looks forward to playing a part in paving the way in changing the landscape of live music, events and venues so all Australians can have an equitable and enjoyable experience

Thanks very much Dina for your time chatting to me. You sound like a force to be reckoned with. Good luck with Groove Tunes!

If you or your organisation are interested in discovering more about Tibi Access, here are its socials:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Jacqui James

I'm an Australian author and music journalist from Melbourne. I've had articles and poetry published in several magazines and newspapers since finishing my Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing in 2001. In 2010 Gigs 'n Interviews was born. I launched it with my first big named interview and that was Vanessa Amorosi and then in 2012 I felt unbelievably privileged to interview Ronan Keating. I'm extremely proud of what Gigs 'n Interviews has become as it's seen as a platform for emerging artists and entertainers to be heard.

Looking forward to writing more children's books, I hope to change the wrong perception of children and adults with disabilities as I was born with Severe Cerebral Palsy (like Christy Brown who wrote My Left Foot). People can view my books at www.jacquijames.net

If you would like to know more about myself, please visit http://www.jacquirogers.com.au/

Thanks for dropping by at Gigs 'n Interviews

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