Wednesday 29th July 11.10am – 12.10pm

How do venues offer a greater representation of people on stage and off?

Why are there so few people from minority groups seen on stage and as crew, venues staff and in audiences in grassroots venues?

What barriers do people from these groups face building a career in music as performers, crew, and within the supporting businesses.

How can the independent sector work together to offer more opportunities for greater representation?



Amy ss co-founder of the Olivier Award winning arts company and club night Duckie, and co-founded RVT Future, a voluntary LGBT+ community group campaigning to preserve the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. She served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010-2011, and spent her year highlighting the history and culture of live music and nightlife in the borough. Amy is a familiar presence on TV, in print and on radio. She broadcasted for a decade on BBC Radio London, and now hosts Sunday afternoons on BBC6 Music.  Her debut book, From Prejudice to Pride: A History of the LGBT+ Movement – the first LGBT+ history book for children – was published by Hachette in June 2017. In 2018, Amy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from University of East London (UEL) and appointed Honorary Professor at University College London (UCL).  Originally from New Jersey, Amy has been a proud Londoner for over 25 years. She has served as London’s first Night Czar since 2016.


Kris is known primarily for performing with Imogen Heap’s ground breaking Mi.Mu Gloves technology, Kris has toured internationally amplifying the conversation around music and disability. His career as a touring artist was launched as part of IVW2016 when Kris worked in partnership with IVW and Attitude Is Everything to raise awareness of the challenges disabled musicians face. The original week long run expanded into full time touring show, The Gloves Are On, with appearances in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. In 2019 Kris launched Dyskinetic, a new one man band focused on further exploring the intersection between music, technology and disability.  During lockdown, Kris has scored his first film, the Tubby Hayes biopic The Little Giant, directed by Lee Cogswell and produced by Paul Weller. During lockdown Kris has also been collaborating with other UK artists on a remote song-writing retreat led by Chris Difford of Squeeze. 


I am passionate about the arts in all its forms. I have worked extensively with artists, arts organisations, international festivals, third sector organisations and within local government.  Since 2006, I have been Drake Music’s Chief Executive. Drake Music is a Disabled-led organisation – we collaborate with Disabled people of all ages, from school children having their first music lessons to professional musicians. Central to our work is the belief that music is a human right. Everyone can make music, given the right opportunities and instruments. I love bringing about positive, radical change and creating inclusive, accessible spaces, opportunities and environments in which artists, participants, educators, technologists, makers and producers can develop, experiment and thrive


Big Jeff is an avid gig-goer, music enthusiast and IVW’s first non-artist ambassador. He is still very much part of the IVW family and is very open about his issues managing his mental health, learning disabilities & anxiety. He has found a community and support network through his passion for live music, arts and culture in his home town of Bristol and has discussed, many times how, live music has helped him build his confidence and live independently. As well as loving live music, Jeff now paints artists during the gigs which have a really unique style. Jeff has appeared on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music show on numerous occasions for IVW including Round Table and has been in documentaries, including the IVW film Long and Winding Road, detailing the experiences of neurodiverse people in and around his local area of Bristol.


Emily Marlow is an events and project co-ordinator, Co-founder of Girl Gang Leeds and DJ. Emily cut her teeth in the music industry at a young age, organising her first gig at 15. She has since managed an independent music venue and worked as the Festival Press Assistant at I Like Press, with clients including Live at Leeds, Slam Dunk and Leeds Indie Food. Now a freelance events and project co-ordinator, Emily is part of the team behind Music:Leeds and Come Play With Me, where she produces events, works on releases and artist support. In 2017 Emily Co-founded Girl Gang Leeds, a non-profit, which creates fun, safe and empowering spaces for women and people of marginalised genders through events such as gigs, exhibitions, workshops, talks, screenings, markets and more.