Plans are in place to make River of Light 2023 the most accessible instalment to date.
With a track record of attracting around 250,000 visitors to the stunning illuminated trail, Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team – responsible for curating and staging the annual event – has put in place plans to make the twelve installations as accessible as possible for all visitors.
For the first time, the event – which runs from Friday 27 October until Sunday 5 November – will play host to two quiet hour sessions which will enable those with additional sensory needs to explore the twelve installations during less crowded times. Each artwork will run with either no soundscape or at a very low volume and, where possible, lighting will be altered making it a gentler, more accessible environment for people with sensory differences. These hour-long sessions will take place from 4-5pm on Sunday 29 October and Wednesday 1 November.
As in previous years the official River of Light website has dedicated accessibility pages which detail each installation, providing descriptive information for those who are visually or hearing impaired. There are also key pointers relating to access, seating availability as well as the locations of Changing Place toilet facilities and accommodation that provides accessible options.
To find out everything you need to know about River of Light including full details of all 12 pieces, the artists and their locations, head to the official River of Light website.
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River of Light will be delivered by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team and part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as the lead authority.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:
“Ensuring as many people as possible can experience and enjoy our events is a top priority for the City Council.
“Large scale events can be challenging for those with additional needs, and for many years the team behind River of Light has ensured that they programme content that as many people as possible can access and enjoy. I’m really pleased that this is going one step further this year with the introduction of a Quiet Hour this year and I’m sure if it’s a success we’ll look to roll it out further in future events where appropriate.”
Julie Simpson who runs Autism Adventures, a Liverpool-based community organisation which supports young people with autism and their family said:
“I’m really pleased to hear the measures that have been taken this year to make River of Light more accessible.
“I work with people every day who would love to feel included in the amazing events that take place in our city, and introducing quiet hours and ensuring there is accessible information for everyone breaks down barriers and encourages everyone to be fully engaged.
“Of course there is always more that could be done, but these are some great first steps which show understanding and empathy and puts inclusivity at the heart of the event.”