The live music industry has an estimated $3.5B value and contributes to Melbourne’s thriving night-time economy. State government has also “placed creativity at the heart of Victoria’s recovery and prosperity”. Working with access consultants and advisors Morwenna Collett, Amanda Lawrie-Jones and Olivia Muscat, the project assessed the online and on-site accessibility of live music venues across these precincts, with the goal of helping venues identify areas for improvement and investment.

The project’s ultimate goal was to provide Deaf and Disabled audiences, artists and staff more equitable access to Melbourne’s live music industry. The project worked with 31 City of Melbourne and City of Yarra music venues online and 7 venues on-site, the project provided specialised training and recommendations to each participant.

The Accessible Venues Program helped venues identify:

The Newmarket Collective have launched a collaboration with Music: Not Impossible who have developed a Haptic Vest which enables the Deaf and hard of hearing community to have an enhanced live music experience. Made with vibrations technology, these vests are able to translate sound frequencies to skin vibrations. The wireless setup include a harness, as well as two wrist and ankle bands to provide specific vibrations to the user’s body across 24 touch points. Both artists and audiences are both able to use these vests to experience music in an entirely new way.

Visit the Music: Not Impossible website to find out more. To experience the vests for yourself or to hire them for your event contact newmarketismusic@gmail.com.

Theatre Network Australia has put together a fantastic and extensive list of essential reads on access and equity.

Click on the links below to start reading:

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