Festival gives visually impaired music fans world-first experience

GiveVision teamed up with Accessible Events and FORWARDS Festival to give people with visual impairments the chance to experience a festival like never before.

The headset is a low vision aid to the festival scene. First demonstrated at Wimbledon and Crystal Palace FC, the technology is adaptable to each individual’s needs and uses festival on stage cameras to stream footage in real time to the user’s headset.

As part of its accessibility drive, FORWARDS worked with GiveVision to be the first festival in the world to offer the technology for visually impaired visitors, with headsets in place in front of the main stage to ensure the full audio experience accompanies the headset’s visuals.

GiveVision develops assistive technologies that can transform the lives of people with severe sight impairments

The performances at FORWARDS were streamed in real-time to a set of headsets, enhancing their remaining vision and enabling them to access the action.

FORWARDS is a major new international music festival which took place in Bristol from 1-2 September 2023.

Joanna Liddington, of GiveVision said: “We’ve seen some incredible responses this weekend as people have experienced the headsets for the first time, completely transforming their festival experience.”

Sera Manneh, who experienced the technology at FORWARDS, said: “I saw things I never thought I’d ever see on that stage. Things I’d usually have to ask my support team to tell me about or catch up on the next day with the visuals on socials.”

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