Taking Your Valuable Feedback to Heart

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Greetings, fellow music enthusiasts! We have some thrilling news to share with you based on the splendid survey conducted by Hand in Hand Festival late last year

If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ choir community in the UK and Ireland, this is your chance to be a part of the ultimate celebration of music, unity, and positive vibes coming to Bristol next summer

Let’s begin by delving into the survey findings and gaining a sneak peek into what makes Hand in Hand Festival so extraordinary.

Have you ever attended a Hand in Hand Festival before? Well, a whopping 64% of enthusiastic respondents exclaimed “Yes!” while 27% of curious souls confessed they haven’t had the pleasure…yet!

Now, let’s discuss those incredible past festivals. We can observe that Hand In Hand festivals are increasingly becoming prominent highlight events in the calendars of LGBQT+ choristers in terms of the growing percentage of festival returners. Among the 64% of respondents who intend to join us in Bristol, here’s a breakdown of the festivals they have previously attended:

  • Cardiff took the lead with an astounding 83% of respondents having attended the festival in 2019.
  • Manchester 2017 followed with 37%.
  • Brighton 2015 gathered 28%.
  • Lastly, London 2013 received a fantastic 8% of respondents who were present at the very first Hand in Hand Festival.

Each festival has left a lasting impression on the hearts of those who attended, creating cherished memories that will endure a lifetime.

But what does the Hand in Hand Festival mean to you, wonderful choir members?

It’s all about the magic of community, folks. The survey respondents emphasised the sense of togetherness, unity, and love that the festival brings. Connecting with fellow choirs and showcasing the incredible diversity of LGBTQ+ talent also ranked high on the list of festival importance.

Now, let’s move on to the juicy part—the highlights! The respondents couldn’t get enough of those enchanting performances. Watching other choirs in action and lending their own voices to the massed choirs filled their hearts with joy. However, it wasn’t just about the music; it provided the perfect opportunity to make new friends, mingle with like-minded individuals, and soak up the electrifying atmosphere of the festival.

YES!

Drumroll, please… Will they be returning for the Hand in Hand Festival 2024 in Bristol? You bet! An overwhelming 81% of choir champions shouted “Yes!” while 5% were still pondering. As for the remaining 14% of respondents, they were probably too busy harmonising to answer this particular question.

So, what are you looking forward to in Bristol? The answers are as diverse as the notes in a symphony. From singing your hearts out to making new friends within the LGBTQ+ community, from exploring the vibrant city of Bristol to immersing yourselves in diverse music and finding inspiration for your choir—this festival has it all!

Now, let’s add a touch of demographic data to the mix

Our choir community encompasses a wide range of ages, from fresh-faced 18-year-olds to seasoned 70-year-olds. However, the majority (40%) fall within the 25-34 age bracket. We also have significant representation from other age groups, including 55-64 (20%) and 45-54 (15%), among others. This diverse age distribution adds richness and variety to our choir performances.

When it comes to gender, we have an awesome mix of fabulous females and marvellous males gracing our choir family. We also have singers who identify as unsure, non-binary, transmasculine, or genderqueer. We celebrate each and every unique identity that contributes to the rich tapestry of our community.

In terms of disability, our choir community is predominantly composed of individuals who do not consider themselves disabled, accounting for approximately 80% of the responses. However, this inclusive and diverse community warmly welcomes individuals of all abilities and backgrounds. Additionally, we have a small but significant percentage, approximately 5%, who identify as disabled. We deeply value the contributions of every member and ensure an inclusive and accessible environment for all. Our festival embraces diversity and celebrates the talents and abilities of each individual, creating harmonious performances that unite us all.

We acknowledge that the demographic representation among the survey respondents may not fully reflect the general population in terms of disability and ethnicity. While we recognise that this discrepancy may be influenced by the choral community itself, we are actively committed to ensuring that disabled individuals and those from diverse ethnic backgrounds are inclusively represented in the festival. To achieve this, we will proactively engage with these communities, reaching out to them and organising workshops on inclusion specifically tailored for choir organisers. We firmly believe that by fostering understanding and embracing diversity, we can create a truly inclusive and enriching experience for all participants.

Now, we have heard you, our incredible choir family members, and we want to address the concerns you raised regarding the financial aspects of attending the festival

We understand that not everyone’s financial situation is the same, and we are dedicated to ensuring that Hand in Hand Festival remains accessible and affordable for all

We received a chorus of honest worries about the potential financial challenges that some of our choir members might face. From concerns about the cost of accommodation and registration fees to worries about rising living costs, your feedback has provided valuable insights that we are eager to tackle head-on.

We are pleased to announce that for Hand in Hand Festival 2024, we will be offering early bird and concessionary tickets! We want to ensure that the festival is accessible to as many people as possible.

The early bird tickets will provide a discounted rate for those who secure their spots early, giving you the chance to plan ahead and take advantage of the savings. Additionally, we will have concessionary tickets available for individuals who may require financial assistance.

We hope that these ticket options will help make the festival more affordable and enable a wider range of choir members to join us in Bristol. We are committed to creating an inclusive and unforgettable experience for all, and these ticket offerings are a step in that direction.

Let’s not forget about accommodation—the concern that struck a high note for many of you. We understand that hotel prices in Bristol, especially for those travelling from outside the city, can be a challenge. That’s why we are committed to seeking out alternative options, such as university halls of residence or negotiating discounted rates with accommodation providers. Our goal is to help you find comfortable and budget-friendly lodging, ensuring that your stay in Bristol is both enjoyable and affordable.

We also appreciate the importance of transparency. We understand that having clear information about costs is crucial for planning and budgeting. Therefore, we will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of registration fees, accommodation costs, and any additional expenses associated with the festival. You deserve to know what to expect and have the opportunity to prepare accordingly.

We have attentively listened to the concerns raised, and we are committed to addressing two crucial aspects: the inclusion of disabled singers and individuals with low incomes

Our unwavering belief is that everyone should have equal opportunities to participate in the Hand in Hand Festival, and we will take decisive action to ensure this. We are actively developing our practices to ensure that people of all abilities can fully engage in the festival. Furthermore, we are exploring various measures to support those with limited financial resources, such as providing early notifications, offering affordable accommodations, introducing bursaries and reduced fees, and implementing flexible payment arrangements. Stay tuned for more information, and we encourage you to reach out to us for a conversation.

Your feedback and suggestions have ignited a passion within us

We are dedicated to making Hand in Hand Festival 2024 in Bristol an inclusive, affordable, and unforgettable experience for all choir members. We want to ensure that every voice is heard, every heart is uplifted, and every member of our community feels supported.

So, get ready to sing, dance, and embrace the magic of music together. As we fine-tune the details and work diligently behind the scenes, keep an eye out for updates and announcements. We will be sharing more information about pricing structures, accommodation options, and other initiatives to make Hand in Hand Festival 2024 an event that surpasses your expectations.

Thank you for your honesty, your enthusiasm, and your unwavering dedication to the power of music. Together, we will create a symphony of togetherness, one that resonates far beyond the stage. Let’s make Hand in Hand Festival 2024 a harmonious celebration that leaves a lasting melody in our hearts, without skipping a beat when it comes to affordability and inclusivity.

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