Ever since it kicked off earlier this year, Isol-Aid has helped to close the gap between musicians and fans. Now, a new edition of the weekly festival is set to shine a light on accessibility within the music industry, as it showcases Deaf and disabled musicians from around the world.
The forthcoming Isol-Aid event will serve as the online festival’s 27th consecutive edition, with one of the smallest – but most important – lineups to date. With a recognised need to represent frequently overlooked musicians with disabilities, Isol-Aid’s Emily Ulman notes that an online platform makes it easier than ever to not only accomodate disabled music-lovers, but also those who make music as well.
“Access has always been central to my practice as a music programmer, but running an online festival has taught me how transformative virtual platforms can be,” Ulman explains.
“Online initiatives allow artists to reach everyone, not just those who are able to physically attend an event. They also allow access to the stage to performers of all abilities.”
The “Accessible All Areas” edition of Isol-Aid will take place on Saturday, September 19th, and will strive to be accessible to those with disabilities. This includes closed captions and an Auslan interpreter for people who are hard of hearing or Deaf, and video description (short verbal descriptions of action or key visual scenes) for people who are blind or have low vision.
The lineup itself features musicians from around the world, including Ruth Patterson (UK), James Holt (UK), Gaelynn Lea (USA), and award-winning Australian disabled musician Eliza Hull, who curated this forthcoming event.
“Live gigs are often not accessible for people with a disability, venues have stairs, inaccessible toilets, or are too loud,” Hull explains. “COVID-19 has presented a way that we can use technology to improve access and inclusion for people with a disability to be part of live music.
“I curated this event to showcase disabled musicians from all around the world, and hopefully eliminate some of the barriers and obstacles that these disabled musicians may have faced between them and their audience.”
While festivals such as Dylan Alcott’s Ability Fest have shown that accessibility for patrons and performers is not out of reach for those in charge of holding shows, this upcoming edition of Isol-Aid helps to further this notion, showing just how easy it is for music to not only be wholly accessible, but inclusive of all abilities.
For more details regarding the “Accessible All Areas” edition of Isol-Aid, check out the event’s website.
An accessible live music performance featuring disabled & Deaf musicians from around the world
Eliza Hull (AUS)
James Holt (UK)
Ruth Patterson (UK)
Gaelynn Lea (USA)
Saturday, September 19th, 8pm
More info: Isol-Aid