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Groove Tunes: Creating accessible space in music for people living with a disability

A live music event that promises to be entirely accessible and inclusive for people living with a disability is attempting to change the music landscape for attendees and artists alike.

A live music event that promises to be entirely accessible and inclusive for people living with a disability is attempting to change the music landscape for attendees and artists alike. 

Taking place on 19 March at The Corner Hotel, Groove Tunes is a one-night music event that is centering its focus on creating an accessible space for people living with a disability who are often sidelined within the music industry.

Dina Basille, founder of Groove Tunes, saw that there was a significant lack of accessible frameworks in place for live music events, barring many people living with disabilities from attending.

“I wanted to create an event that showcased how easily accessibility could be implemented in a mainstream space,” said Basille. 

After facing hurdles due to the pandemic and postponed shows, Basille hopes Groove Tunes will start a conversation around inclusivity and bring a necessary change to the music space.

“Accessibility is not just about your ramps and viewing platforms,” added Basille.

“It is your customer service, your online presence and support systems you have in place for people with disability.”

The festival is set to include Auslan interpreters, braille tickets, sensory spaces, and live captioning.

“It starts with educating yourself and becoming more knowledgeable about how you can have a more inclusive business or show,” said Basille.

1 in 6 Australians live with a disability, and yet mainstream music events continue to exclude people and artists living with a disability from these experiences.

“Our goal is to pave the way for accessibility within the music and arts industry,” said Basille.

“I hope to see more mainstream festivals and shows bringing artists with disability onto their lineups.”

The lineup for the evening is headlined by Kelli Holiday, best known for being one-half of the electronic duo Peking Duk, and local indie-pop artist Matilda Pearl, accompanied by Saint Ergo, Irene Zhong and Edward Roussec.

“I remember being so excited when my booking agent sent me the offer,” said Pearl.

“I said yes straight away.”

19-year-old Matilda Pearl is fresh to the scene but is rising quickly through the ranks, most known for her catchy and glittery pop tunes ‘Soak’ and ‘Linger’.

“I hope it [Groove Tunes] acts as an example to other event organizers that events like this absolutely can be put on and that it is achievable to generate a live music space that is inclusive and accessible,” said Pearl.

“I think it will take a lot of time, but I hope it starts a conversation about reevaluating the needs of those with a disability within the live music space.”

??You can buy tickets for Groove Tunes here.


Image provided by Groove Tunes.

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021


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