The Queen's Hall is proud to announce a new initiative which aims to make us one of the most autism-friendly music venues in the country.
Working with composer, Ben Lunn, who himself has autism, we have created a video and accompanying downloadable guides to highlight the look and feel of each key front of house area at The Queen's Hall. These are available now on our Access Information page.
Ben, who is currently trainee Artistic Director with the acclaimed classical music group, Hebrides Ensemble, is researching the challenges facing autistic people in orientating themselves through the physical, sensory, and emotional experience of concert going and how venues could address these concerns.
Fronted and narrated by Joseph Cox (pictured), who also has autism, the film has been designed to alleviate anxiety for those who have not visited the Hall before. It is expected that this, and the accompanying detailed documents, will be of use to many first time visitors, not just those who are neurodivergent.
The timing of the launch has been chosen to coincide with Diversions, the upcoming event featuring Drake Music Scotland and the Hebrides Ensemble at The Queen's Hall on 12 December. Drake's celebrated Digital Orchestra and the Ensemble will perform the world premiere of Lunn's new work 'Symphonies of Instruments'.
This concert is arguably one of the first with a repertoire written solely by disabled people and has the aims of improving access, not as a bolt-on but as an integral part of the programming. This concert includes BSL interpretation and other elements designed to welcome audience members to the hall. There will be a chill out space and audiences are welcome to bring a blanket, cushion or anything else that will make them feel comfortable.
Tickets for Diversions, a concert to celebrate Scotland’s creative diversity are on sale now.
A full press release can be downloaded below.
(Ben Lunn, trainee Artistic Director, Hebrides Ensemble)
“As a large proportion of the anxiety comes from the unknown the filmed footage will shine a light on what happens going to a concert. Once, all information is there, an autistic person has complete control to assess how capable they are to attend.
(Emma Mortimore, Marketing Manager, The Queen's Hall)
“Walking in someone else’s shoes is the only way to really understand their experience, and through the making of the film we have been given that chance. By introducing initiatives such as the film and making accessibility information more widely available we hope to make The Queen’s Hall the most autism friendly music venue in Scotland, if not the UK."