Hearing-impaired people can increasingly enjoy concerts thanks to technological innovations and initiatives

Hearing-impaired people can increasingly enjoy concerts thanks to technological innovations and initiatives

The music industry makes accessibility a priority, transforming concerts into true artistic experiences for people with deafness. MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP

People with deafness can also enjoy the unique experience that concerts offer. And this is the bet that the music industry supports. Artists, venues and musical events, all advocate inclusiveness and adapt according to the needs of each individual.

On June 9, at the Olympic stadium in Athens, the group Coldplay made its concert more inclusive and more accessible for people with deafness. The video of a hearing-impaired man experiencing the concert, in the middle of the crowd, particularly moved Internet users on Instagram.

We see a man of a certain age, who had never had the chance to attend a concert before. With a smile on his lips and bright eyes, this Coldplay fan touched many spectators online, who welcomed the group's initiative.

Through technological innovations and initiatives, artists like Coldplay aim to make the musical experience accessible to everyone, including those with hearing and vision impairments.

At the forefront of this development are devices like vibrating vests and sparkling bracelets, designed to allow deaf concertgoers to physically feel the music. Subpac jackets (proposed during Coldplay concerts), developed by a Canadian company, capture sound vibrations to transcribe them into tactile sensations. With their advanced technology, the vibrations reach, simultaneously, the epidermal layer, the muscles and pass through the bones until reaching the inner ear. A unique sensory immersion which allows everyone to enjoy the concert.

An innovative approach

This innovative approach is not entirely pioneering, with examples such as "chansigne", where sign language interpreters capture not only the words but also the& #39;emotional energy of the songs. This practice was widely praised on social networks during Rihanna's performance at the 2023 Super Bowl, during which the interpreter, Justina Miles, perfectly transcribed the mood of the song sung by the Barbadian .

In France, artists such as Angèle, Matt Pokora and Soprano have also committed to making their concerts accessible to the hearing impaired. While Angèle has already experimented with vibrating vests during her concerts, the other two artists choose to have their songs translated into sign language during their shows.


In addition to artists, cultural centres are promoting inclusivity. The Soeurs Jumelles Festival in Rochefort is particularly committed to providing accessible cultural opportunities for deaf people. On 27 June, rapper MC Solaar's concert was performed by LSF interpreters and provided free vibrating vests. Likewise, for the Théâtre de Nîmes, which provides various equipment, including individual headphones, sound amplification and vibrating vests, which can be reserved before the start of the performances. Proof that music is for everyone, and this is what the Philharmonie de Paris has also been working to develop since its opening in 2015.

Beyond concerts, this inclusive approach is gaining ground in other musical, cultural and sporting events, such as the upcoming Olympic Games, where new technologies will be used to allow the visually impaired and hearing impaired to fully share the emotion of the moment.

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