Blog: The Accessible Arts Festival

By Áine Kelly-Costello

Accessibility in Action Looks Like the Auckland Arts Festival.

You know what makes me excited? When I can go from recommending, urging, demanding, insisting that accessibility get real to witnessing accessibility get real. And even better? When I can share that accessibility with others, not just in a newsflash/promotion like this blog post but in real life.

If you live in Auckland and are around this March, do yourself a favour and book into your calendar an event or three from this fantastic accessible line-up by the Auckland Arts Festival. A mix of internationally-curated shows and home-grown talent, this line-up is for everyone. Not just because you can all attend, but also because if you can convince a patron with a disability that you're their bestest arts buddy, you might be able to snag a $20 companion ticket.

Seriously though, I'm really excited that AAF have also recognised any cost whatsoever as an access barrier, so they're offering some 'Pay what you Can' performances, which are exactly what you think they are. I have extolled the virtues of the audio description royalty treatment we receive in Auckland before and so it will come as no surprise that I personally can't wait to see the audio-described version of 1984 and am gutted I can't make Giselle, but accessibility isn't limited to audio description and touch tours.

There are also NZSL/interpreted performances, relaxed performances and clear info on venue accessibility.

Oh yeah, and blind readers who have ever tried to book a ticket through a system that asks you to pick your seat on a map, remember how aggravating that is? Ticketmaster's phone-answering humans have always been lovely and helpful, to be sure, but an even better solution is to eliminate the need to talk to Ticketmaster entirely and go straight to AAF. Good news, now we can do exactly that for AAFs accessible programme. We simply download the booking form in the accessible format of our choosing and/or call to ask for assistance filling it out.

So, stop reading this right now and, get over there to suss your tickets! You might even share your favourite AAF event/s on Facebook; it’s not every day this sort of accessible quality entertainment comes to town, after all.

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