After two years of being sidelined by COVID-19, many bands are touring again!
British band Coldplay is back in action, kicking off a multi-city tour called “Music of the Spheres.” At a show in Costa Rica, the band delighted fans with all of their hits, but there was a deeper message for the public as well. For possibly the first time ever, a mainstream band tried very hard to include disabled people.
First, lead singer Chris Martin tried his best to speak Spanish to the mostly Spanish-speaking audience. Second, the band invited members of the deaf community to both nights of the shows and provided them with special tools to enhance their experience.
Silencio backpacks are sensory vests that vibrate in sync with the music. When worn, deaf and hearing impaired people can experience the beats physically instead of with their ears.
Costa Rican producer Juan JosÃ© Rojas was one of the deaf audience members invited to attend. He had an amazing time at the concert, and he truly appreciates the band’s efforts to make their shows inclusive.
“I feel great, the experience was unique, especially when they gave us the vest that connects with the band to emit vibrations,” he said. “Then the whole body felt the music throughout the concert, so you could enjoy it much more. Besides that, the concert was very visual, so thanks to that we were able to enjoy it a lot.”
The concerts also featured sign language interpreter Jason Alvarado, who performed the entire concert in Costa Rican Sign Language. A large screen with the song lyrics and closed captioning was placed right near the stage, as well.
“We feel very satisfied,” said Juan. “Personally, as a deaf person and art lover, I think that all deaf people have the right to enjoy art equally. Art is educational and I feel that artists have a lot to express, teach, and spread, so I think we deserve to receive it equally.”
As if these changes to their production weren’t impressive enough, Chris even performed “Something Just Like This” in sign language while wearing a giant spaceman helmet. At the next night’s show, he turned over signing duties to a deaf audience member named Emory. The way he encouraged her was so precious!
Coldplay is leading the pack when it comes to creating inclusive concert experiences for a broad audience! The way they’re using technology to provoke societal change is truly inspiring.
Please share this story to encourage inclusivity for the deaf and hard of hearing.
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