Fast Forward Festival 2019: Celebrating Inclusion & Challenging Expectations

Thu 5 December 2019

We were delighted to host and co-produce Fast Forward Festival 2019 in partnership with Bristol Music Trust, the festival’s creators, at the Midlands Arts Centre, in October 2019.

Fast Forward is an influential national disability and arts festival that celebrates inclusion and challenges expectations around disability and the music industry. This year’s one-day festival showcased the best examples of inclusive arts from across the UK. There was an exciting line up of music industry professionals, leaders in education and pioneering artists who are at the forefront of the movement to stimulate, steer and secure equality across the music sector.


Keynote address

Industry case studies

  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra shared the learning from its ground-breaking BSO Change Makers programme to make the Orchestra more accessible and inclusive.
  • Drake Music the leading national organisation in music, disability and technology reflected on their experiences of representation and inclusion in the industry.
  • The National Open Youth Orchestra discussed how the hopes and ambitions of disabled young musicians can be supported.


  • Kris Halpin (chair)
  • Jess Thom
  • Dr Claire Mera-Nelson
  • Liz Birch (IRIDIS)
  • Brendan Hoar
  • Sarah Fisher

Contributions from


  • SWITCH - the energetic young house band supported through MAC's award-winning musical inclusion initiative
  • BSO Resound - the first disabled-led ensemble to ever perform at the BBC Proms
  • Sarah Fisher with her funny, inspiring show, Twitch

Photos: Will Pace, Paperwolf Productions.