Where are you based out of and where do you see shows in relation?
When did you start going to shows and when did you get more involved in the scene?
Talk a bit about your disability and how it affects your experience going to shows.
What have your experiences been like with inquiring about lighting accommodations? What does that process typically look like?
What have your experiences been like with having an invisible disability in relation to getting accommodations?
Have your experiences with accommodations at venues improved over time as social awareness has grown in general, or are things remaining the same?
What’s been your best experience with accessibility?
What’s been your worst experience with accessibility?
Tell everyone about what you’re working on through LEAD DIY.
Was there a particular moment that made you want to work to change things surrounding lighting at gigs?
How can people best be an ally to everyone with light sensitivities?
Most listened to album of this year so far?
James Cassar is currently managing three bands (Barely Civil, bristletongue, and If Only, If Only) with his childhood friend Rachel Malvich as rumblepak. He is also helping out Take This to Heart Records with label management/A&R and will be launching another venture later this year. You can hear him on the podcast Stereo Confidential, which is the rebranded new home for the award-winning Modern Vinyl Podcast. He co-owns and formerly co-operated the record label Near Mint, and has written for Alternative Press, MTV, and more. He once bought business cards that called him “The Reigning King of DIY” but, truly, you can find him playing Yoshi’s Crafted World after he gets home to Philly from his job in Jersey, if he’s not answering emails.read more
TJ Hayes has been regularly attending shows in Chicago since 2015. Hayes, who has spina bifida myelomeningocele, checked in with Half Access to talk about their experiences with accessibility, where venues still have room to improve, and advocating for your right to accommodation.read more
Valerie Gritsch is the community manager for London-based indie label, Xtra Mile Recordings. As community manager, she handles all of their social media channels, in addition to managing their street team and other fan engagement efforts. A New York native, Gritsch is currently working towards her Masters degree at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where her research includes, but is not limited to, music fandom and celebrity studies. The subject of her thesis will focus on celebrity death and how fans create history. Gritsch—whose history of chronic nerve pain eventually led to fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis (commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome)—caught up with us to talk about her experience in the music industry and what adequate accommodations can and should look like.read more