Access & Inclusion
Introduction

We welcome all visitors to Sydney Festival events and make every effort to ensure the program is accessible to our whole audience.



We would like to thank the members of the Sydney Festival Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel for their ongoing advice:

Coral Arnold
Morwenna Collett
Riana Head-Toussaint
Julie Jones
Greg Killeen
Vanessa Lucas
Naomi Malone
Liz Martin
Paul Nunnari

Download the Accessible Performance Guide and Accessible Performance Calendar.

Sydney Festival's Access and Inclusion program is brought to you in partnership with Radio 2RPH.

Radio 2RPH aims to inform, educate and entertain New South Wales’ listeners. The radio reading service features readings from the top daily newspapers, international and Australian magazines, and books for those with print disabilities, lack of access to published material or lifestyles that limit time for reading and remaining informed. The on-air programs, including book readings, are read and presented by volunteers and can be heard between 6:30am and 11:30pm each day on 1224AM, 100.5FM, and on digital.

Accessible Festival Brochure

The 2020 Sydney Festival brochure is available in the following alternative formats:


Vision

AUDIO DESCRIPTION

Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Audio describers give live, verbal descriptions of actions, costumes, scenery, and other visual elements of a performance. This is done during gaps in the dialogue via a small earpiece, provided to patrons pre-show. The audio description begins 10 minutes prior to the performance and provides program details together with descriptions of costumes and stage settings. Patrons must book the service in advance and pick up a free FM headset on arrival.

TACTILE TOURS

Tactile tours allow patrons who are blind or have low vision to have a hands-on experience. Depending on the production/installation, patrons are given access to costumes, props and stage set in order to capture the atmosphere of the work. Tactile tours occur before the performance. Patrons must book in advance.


Black Drop Effect
Nardi Simpson’s immersive drama examining emotions and contested views of Captain Cook’s legacy.
Bankstown Arts Centre
16 January, 8pm (tactile tour will begin at 7pm)

She Conjured the Clouds
A magical adventure of the senses for both kids and adults by acclaimed artist Justene Williams, accessible to all audiences.
Campbelltown Arts Centre
17 January, 1.30pm (tactile tour will begin at 12.30pm)

Anthem
Five of Australia’s finest writers reunite to ask if Australia really does sing with one voice.
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay
19 January, 5pm (tactile tour will begin at 4pm)

Audio description provided by Vision Australia.

Black Cockatoo
The inspiring tale of 13 Aboriginal men who became the first Australian cricketers to tour England.
Ensemble Theatre
23 January, 11am (tactile tour at 10.20am)
25 January, 4.30pm (no tactile tour)

Contemporary Kids x Fambo: A Queer Festival for all Kinds of Families
Celebrating the LGBTIQA+ experience for families with performance, art making and dress-ups.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Tactile tours available at each session


PRE-SHOW NOTES

Pre-show notes are available upon request for any production. Please email access@sydneyfestival.org.au

ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

Assistance animals are welcome at all Festival events and venues, bookings are essential. If you are blind or have low vision and want to attend an event at Sydney Festival, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can provide you with free training on how to travel safely from any location to your event at the Festival. Call 1800 804 805 to discuss your travel needs.

Hearing

ASSISTIVE LISTENING

Many venues have an induction hearing loop system or FM radio system available. Visit sydneyfestival.org.au/venues for venue information.

AUSLAN INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE

Auslan interpreted performances are for audiences who are Deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Experienced Auslan theatre interpreters stand to the side of the stage and interpret dialogue and any text into Auslan, signing live. Audiences requiring this service are seated in the section closest to the interpreter to ensure good sightlines.

Laser Beak Man
Artist Tim Sharp’s cult-classic comes to life with eye-popping staging and offbeat humour.
Sydney Opera House
11 January, 7pm


Double Delicious
Five stellar storytellers and cooks share the most significant events and dishes of their lives.
Carriageworks
12 January, 5pm


Black Ties
Hera and Kane are getting married and you’re invited to the party – but so are their chaotic relatives.
Sydney Town Hall
14 January, 7.30pm (post-show Q&A also interpreted)


Black Drop Effect
Nardi Simpson’s immersive drama examining emotions and contested views of Captain Cook’s legacy.
Bankstown Arts Centre
16 January, 8pm


The Mermaid
Hanna Cormick risks her health to tackle urgent topics such as disability and climate collapse.
The Coal Loader, Waverton
17–19 Jan (all performances interpreted)


Anthem
Five of Australia’s finest writers reunite to ask if Australia really does sing with one voice.
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay
19 January, 5pm


Contemporary KidsX Fambo: A queer program for all kinds of families
Celebrating the LGBTIQA+ experience for families with performance, art making and dress-ups.
Museum of Contemporary Art
21–25 Jan (all sessions interpreted)

BEYOND 2020: A Vision for Australia
What could a national day look like that is inclusive for all Australians? How can we balance recognition of our country’s First Nations custodianship, its colonial heritage and contemporary multicultural migration?
Sydney Town Hall
22 January, 6pm


The Visitors
January, 1788. Clan leaders meet on Gadigal land as the tall ships enter the Harbour. Do they bid welcome, or do they take a stance?
Carriageworks
24 January, 8pm 


The Vigil
A night of performance and reflection, featuring live music and poetry, on the eve of the day everything changed.
Barangaroo Reserve
25 January, from dusk 


UTS Big Thinking Forums
(Rethinking Leadership in Cultural Industries, What Defines a Project as 'First Nations'?, Rethinking Nationalism)
The Great Hall, UTS
14 January, 6pm / 18 January, 2pm / 25 January, 4pm 


She Conjured the Clouds
A magical adventure of the senses for both kids and adults by acclaimed artist Justene Williams, accessible to all audiences.
Campbelltown Arts Centre
She Conjured the Clouds is a highly visual, inclusive show which will especially appeal to the Deaf and hard of hearing community and features deaf and hard of hearing performers. 

Every performance utilises Auslan signs in dance and movement, features vibrations, smells, and multi-sensory interpretations of sound, and has integrated captioning on the small amount of dialogue in on-stage video. 



CAPTIONING

Theatre captioning is an accurate live text display of a theatre performance in its entirety, including actors’ dialogue, ad libs, asides, song lyrics, musical descriptions and other sound effects, displayed on large screens at the side of the stage, and via GoTheatrical! mobile app.

Laser Beak Man
Artist Tim Sharp’s cult-classic comes to life with eye-popping staging and offbeat humour.
Sydney Opera House
12 January, 6pm

She Conjured the Clouds
A magical adventure of the senses for both kids and adults by acclaimed artist Justene Williams, accessible to all audiences.
Campbelltown Arts Centre
All performances will feature subtitles on video content within the show

The Mermaid
Hanna Cormick risks her health to tackle urgent topics such as disability and climate collapse.
The Coal Loader, Waverton
Dates. All performances will be captioned


 SURTITLING

Foreign language performances are surtitled, with the translation of dialogue displayed on a screen above the stage.

Opening Night
French superstar Isabelle Adjani stars in a radical staging of Cassavetes’ cult movie classic Opening Night.
Sydney Opera House
21–26 Jan

Romances Inciestos, un autre Orlando
Dancer-singer François Chaignaud stars in a joyous cocktail of Baroque music, flamenco and gender play.
Carriageworks
21–26 Jan
Romances is not surtitled, however English translations available in printed programme.


VISUAL CONTENT

A guide for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.


100% visual content. Contains no music or dialogue.

Jumaadi: My Love is an Island Far Away
Proclamation
Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux
Reko Rennie: Remember Me
Taloi Havini: Reclamation
Three Views
Vernon ah Kee: The Island

75% visual content. Fully captioned or has minimal dialogue, some background music and/or sounds.

Air Play
Colossus
Daniel Boyd: video works
Frontera
Opening Night
Time Flies
Two Crews




Sensory Friendly

RELAXED

Designed for patrons with disability and their families, or anyone who may benefit from a more relaxed environment. Relaxed performances usually have slight modifications to sound and lighting, downloadable pre-visit social stories, support aids and an open-door policy with dedicated quiet area.

Laser Beak Man
Artist Tim Sharp’s cult-classic comes to life with eye-popping staging and offbeat humour.
Sydney Opera House
12 January, 2pm.

Dodecalis Luminarium
Explore an immense, radiantly lit inflated labyrinth of winding paths and soaring domes.
Darling Harbour
All sessions of Dodecalis Luminarium are accessible to everyone and is fully wheelchair accessible, embracing all ages and abilities. There are also dedicated neurodiverse-friendly relaxed sessions where capacity is limited. Volunteers from Autism Spectrum Australia will be in attendance.
16 January, 9-10am and 23 January, 9-10am. 
The relaxed sessions are free, registration is required. To register for either of these sessions time, CLICK HERE.

She Conjured the Clouds
A magical adventure of the senses for both kids and adults by acclaimed artist Justene Williams, accessible to all audiences.
Campbelltown Arts Centre
17 January, 1.30pm. This performance will have lowered sounds and lights, freedom to come and go and a chill out area. 

Bran Nue Dae
Jimmy Chi’s exuberant, hilarious and hopeful homegrown musical gets a 30th birthday revival.
Riverside Theatres
25 January, 2pm

Accessible and Inclusive

Performances, events, workshops or talks that are accessible to people of all abilities. 

Dodecalis Luminarium
Explore an immense, radiantly lit inflated labyrinth of winding paths and soaring domes.
Darling Harbour
Dodecalis Luminarium is accessible to everyone at any time, embracing all ages and abilities. There will also be dedicated relaxed sessions, for details see under ‘relaxed’.
8–26 January

Mobility

Sydney Festival ensures that its venues are as physically accessible as possible.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

Sydney Festival ensures that its venues are as physically accessible as possible. For access information on specific venues visit sydneyfestival.org.au/venues.

ACCESS AT PARRAMATTA PARK

At Sydney Symphony Under the Stars a viewing area for patrons with accessibility needs is located at the front on the right side as you look at the stage. Friends and family are also welcome in the designated viewing area. The precinct is relatively flat with a mix of grass and paved surfaces. Accessible amenities are available. 

ACCESS AT OPERA IN THE DOMAIN

For disability access information at Opera in the Domain please contact Opera Australia directly on 02 9318 8200 / customerservice@opera.org.au

ACCESS IN THE MAGIC MIRRORS SPIEGELTENT

The Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent and precinct is wheelchair accessible and offers priority entry for people with access requirements. Head for the meeting point sign with access symbols.


Booking

Bookings are essential for all accessible services. 

To discuss your access requirements and to book any access services or performances, please call Sydney Festival on 02 8880 9214 or email access@sydneyfestival.org.au

Please note our call centre opening hours:
31 October-3 January:
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (closed public holidays during this period)

6-26 January:
Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm

We encourage booking tickets prior to Friday 13 December 2019. Seats cannot be guaranteed after this date although we will always do our best to accommodate your request. 

Seats cannot be guaranteed after this date although we will always do our best to accommodate your request. All access performance tickets will be sold at the lowest full price in the house for that performance (excluding Bran Nue Dae and Six).

Bookings for Auslan interpreted and captioned performances can be made online by entering the promotional code SF20ACCESS during purchase. Seat maps show which seats have the best viewing for each service.

Sydney Festival is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 8248 6500. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 8248 6500. Internet relay users, visit relayservice.gov.au, then ask for 02 8248 6500.

Companion Card

Sydney Festival supports the Companion Card program. For patrons who require assistance of a companion or carer, a second ticket is issued at no cost to the Companion Card holder. Please contact Sydney Festival directly on 02 8248 6500 to assist with your booking.

Note: Companion tickets for At The Illusionist’s Table will incur full charge if the companion wishes to partake in the performance including the meal. There will be no charge for the companion if not being served the meal.

Get In Touch

Your feedback helps us continue to improve our access program and services. Please get in touch with us on 02 8248 6500 or access@sydneyfestival.org.au if you have any queries or suggestions regarding accessibility at Sydney Festival.

Disability Programming Initiative

What is the new pitching initiative for people with disability?

Sydney Festival is committed to increasing the representation of artists with disability in the annual program. We believe we build stronger communities when a diverse range of artists tell their stories to a diverse range of audiences. As such, in December 2018 we launched a collaboration with Accessible Arts to invite artists with disability or who are Deaf to pitch projects for inclusion in the #SYDFEST program.

We received over 40 fantastic submissions for the 2020 Festival which were reviewed by an advisory team* who gave their time and expertise to ensure the criteria was met by all submissions. The standard was high and we now have plenty of work in progress but are still looking for more for the 2021 program.

What are we looking for?

  • Sydney Festival programs free events, visual arts, music, theatre, dance, large public installations, online events and everything in between
  • We look for exemplary artistic and cultural endeavours that are adventurous, international best practice and have something new to say to the world
  • We look for a strong aesthetic language, demonstrable artistic/cultural skills and an articulate story to tell
  • Successful projects often have multiple partners to help fund and present the work and a clearly articulated target audience

Who is eligible to submit?

Anyone with disability is eligible to submit.

The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (DIA) defines disability as: “The long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” 

The term ‘disability’ can also include people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The Deaf community may not always identify as having disability or impairment and may define themselves as a culturally and linguistically diverse group due to their use of Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

  • Sydney Festival works with artists who have a track record of creating/performing works
  • Artists with disability and/or organisations working with/for people with disability are encouraged to submit a pitch. Groups submitting need to be disability-led. This means you must demonstrate that the artistic process within the group is led by artists with disability
  • Festival Director Wesley Enoch (aided by the Sydney Festival programming team) will make the final decision based on the balance of projects, budgets and distribution

What should the submission include?

Each pitch should be 2–3 pages long (or the equivalent) and include:

  • a 2–3 paragraph detailed description of the project
  • 1–2 paragraphs on each of the key artists involved
  • the venue or type of venue you require
  • a list of presenting or funding partners and whether these are confirmed
  • a demonstrated sense of the target audience
  • a budget which includes pre-production costs, funding sources, possible box office/income sources, in-kind support, weekly running costs
  • images / video / media / article links of previous works or of developments of the work being pitched

When can I submit?

NOW! Submissions will be taken up to 31 March 2020. Things to keep in mind:

  • We encourage all possible projects to submit a pitch no later than 31 March at 5pm AEDT for inclusion in the following Festival but projects can be submitted at any time up to then
  • The more assistance you need to realise your project, the better it is to get in early
  • Sydney Festival locks off its program by May/June each year

How do I submit?

You are welcome to pitch to us in any format accessible to you, for example by email, audio file, video (including in Auslan), handwritten or printed document using one of the following methods:

By email: pitch@sydneyfestival.org.au

By post: Vivia Hickman, Executive Producer, Sydney Festival, Level 5/10 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW 2000

If you choose to submit a video, it can be as simple as one shot on a mobile phone.

All applicants must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact phone number
  • Email address
  • Preferred method of contact

Please do not send email attachments over 2MB. For large files, use an online transfer service like WeTransfer, or provide links to download from Dropbox or Google Drive. You may also post us a USB flash drive.

Selection

Submissions will be acknowledged as they are received. The selection process will begin after the end of the submission period (submissions close 5pm AEST 31 March 2020).

Who do I contact if I need guidance or have questions?

We encourage you to contact Accessible Arts for support or guidance on any part of your submission or the pitching process:

Liz Martin, Arts Development and Training Manager, Accessible Arts / lmartin@aarts.net.au / 02 8379 3102 (Tue/Wed/Thurs)

*Many thanks to Alex Jones, Alison Richardson, Carly Findlay, Liz Martin and Riana Head-Toussaint for dedicating their time in March 2019 to ensuring the submissions received met our criteria of being disability-led and culturally competent.

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