26 Sep 2022

Reflections on Ed Fringe accessibility

A person carrying out tech duties for a theatre production, their face illuminated by a laptop screen in what is otherwise a pitch black space.

Image: Joe Strickland at DaDaFest Scratch 2021, photo by Brian Roberts

This August, DaDa Executive Producer, Joe Strickland, visited the Edinburgh Fringe in their capacity as both a representative of DaDa and as a performing artist with Chronic Insanity. Get their thoughts on accessibility at the world's largest arts festival in their latest piece for the DaDa blog:

On the whole, the Edinburgh Fringe has been a mixed bag this year. I think there’s more public complaining because people are more comfortable demanding the basics that they require. Every complaint about access, burnout, finances, or mismanagement is a problem that has pervaded the festival for many years, so the increase in people actively and publicly complaining about it is a good sign that people feel empowered about standing up to industry and festival gatekeepers, something that can happen all too rarely in live performance. This is happening in conversations with artists, on twitter, and even in published think-pieces, such as this one by Fergus Morgan for The Stage.

There have also been many more shows, at all scales, actively promoting their access, in spite of the Fringe Society messing up and excluding shows with accessibility from being correctly labeled as such in the programme and ticket website. Plus, with the emergence of organisations like Neurodiverse Review and their excellent summing up of access issues at the Fringe in 2022 it’s clear that access is being forced into conversations about the future of the Fringe, and about time!

However, I can’t help but think that it’s all to easy for people to point the fingers between venues, artists, and audiences without anything actually ending up getting done. Also, a lot of people are demanding change but are these organisations actually going to do anything without people asking for more specifics?

Some potential ideas for these three groups are presented below to reflect on:

To Venues

  • Do a major overhaul of assessing whether spaces are accessible or not, and making sure that most spaces can be made accessible, especially if they are traditionally popular to broad audiences.

    This might be difficult in old buildings that house venues potentially, but then maybe find other buildings? Is having been somewhere for a period of time really worth ignoring the mobility or sensory needs of your audience? Can you set up an equivalent system elsewhere to view shows staged in inaccessible spaces (live streaming on an intranet for instance) or having a pot of money set aside to reasonably record shows in inaccessible spaces for on demand release.

    Don’t just rely on these ideas either, as the priority is making live spaces accessible to everybody. That is why people come to the Fringe.

  • Train your staff in audience access queries, and don’t work them so hard that it’s the first thing that gets forgotten in order for them to survive the month. Lots of stories coming out of the fringe this month have been about shows from smaller companies offering more access options but venues staff/volunteers being uninformed about access matters effectively. However, working at most Edinburgh venues leaves you underpaid, or even not technically paid at all, and exhausted. You may also end up hating the role since, working front of house or at the box office you will be bearing the brunt of any general hostility from members of the public. So kindness is required if a staff member forgets or mishandles an accessibility query. Venues need to do more about staff health and wellbeing anyway, and a wonderful side-effect of this will be a better access communication system for audiences that require it.

  • Can’t all the venues just have a big website that has all the up to date access information on it, the big 8 especially now that they have EdFest.co.uk? The basic access built into shows, any extra accessible performances decided upon during the month? This really isn’t that hard to set up.

  • Encourage shows to be more accessible with incentives (more favourable rents or ticket splits, free publicity about their access offering, equipment for accessibility provided as part of the general tech spec in a venue). Artists want to be accessible, they really do, but resources limit their ability to execute their accessibility desires


To Artists

The current show registration process means that you have to outline your access when you register your show, which is very early on in the rehearsal or creation process if you don’t have access built into the bedrock of your show. Some artists don’t have anything other than a name for their show when they are registering it in March time (for the early bird deadline at least). The best thing to do is to build access into the show from the get go, not tag it on later and then be unable to update your listing to reflect this (although obviously this updating should be a more streamlined process too).

Almost every artists I speak to about access wants to include it but doesn’t want to mess it up. We all innately understand how important expectations are when it comes to making an informed decision about which shows to go and see, especially when there is so much choice/competition at the festival. Unfortunately most artists end up deciding that if they aren’t confident in making their work accessible then they might do it badly, and that doing something poorly is worse than not doing it at all. Therefore, access is not built in. Also, it comes down to resources and the availability of resources.

Below are some suggestions:

  • Audio-description should be in everything from the ground up, it isn’t difficult, just pretend your show is a radio play and add it in, or rehearse a second script for the show that describes anything visually on stage that isn’t already described with the script. Also, you can build audio-description into your sound design to emphasise and highlight visual moments if your show isn’t scripted, like emphasising the creaking of a door if one closes, or the tearing of paper if a letter is opened.

  • Captions should be an option everywhere, but you need to overcome two problems:

    1. How will they be generated
    2.Where will they be shown

    If you have a scripted show, and that script is stuck to for every performance, there really isn’t an excuse for not having captions generated for your show (the problem comes in presenting them). Even just having the lines in a powerpoint and having an operator skip through them along with the show can be enough. If that sounds boring, then make your captions more creative! Different fonts, images, styles for different characters, there’s not set or standardised way of making creative captions, just make them visible and legible from where the audience is sitting and you’re good to go!

    If, however, you have a show with improvised or unscripted elements, and don’t have the budget for a stenographer, or even an electronic note taker to caption the show for you, AI speech to text options can be used so long as they have a clear audio feed for the performers. The free speech-to-text included with Zoom is surprisingly good at accuracy regardless of regional UK/US accents if it has a clean audio feed of the performers speaking. However, displaying the captions for everyone might be distracting if they are not completely accurate. Unfortunately Edinburgh is full of venues with awful sight lines during the festival, but a screen or projection can be easily set up to be viewed by a certain section off the audience, as is usually the case with a BSL interpreter facing a particular section of seats during a performance.

    Exhibiting captions is a larger issue in my mind, and one that can be solved by venues. You need a screen or projection to show the captions to the audience. You can use a system to have captions on a phone for an audience member but then they have to look away from the performance to read them, so ideally you’d have them next to or embedded into the performance in some way on the stage. However, it is unreasonable to expect every show to bring up their own TV monitors or projectors, so venues should supply some sort of audio-visual equipment as standard in every space, even just a £50 TV screen off of Gumtree, so that captions can be created by artists and displayed without undue weight on the limited resources of a theatre company.

    Also, if you’re planning on having AD and captions, make it available for every performance, why limit it? If it’s built into the show properly then there’s no need to remove it.

    Consider this? As a storyteller you want your story to be understood by the audience so that they can be entertained, enlightened, or bonded socially. We make creative decisions to allow us to do this whenever we make a show. Who we cast, how it’s performed, how the script is structured or paced, the order of the scenes in the story, the likability of the characters, how sections are highlighted by lights, sound, props, set, etc. By not including captions and AD you’re just limiting the people your story can reach, and doing so in a discriminatory and ableist way.

  • BSL interpretation is more difficult to provide because it is more expensive and harder to organise for the average theatre company. I’d recommend using BSL if you know you’ll have BSL users in your audience, or you want to appeal to them with your show. There are not enough BSL interpreters for the number of shows that want to use them and, because artists use them inappropriately all the time, it can be hard to find interpreters for smaller events. There are rules artists don’t know, like how most shows require multiple interpreters due swapping them out every 15 minutes unless the interpreter is rehearsed into the show. Not every interpreter can interpret for every BSL user, there are dialects of BSL and personal preferences of the audience that can cause interference in the clarity of the interpretation. However, for larger organisations, BSL should be provided for the same reason as above, accessibility is a right.

    For some of our own innovations around this topic, you can find a wealth of resources on DaDa's The Space-funded Augmented Reality BSL interpretations here.

  • Finally, just commit to having relaxed performances, I guarantee that nine times out of ten your lighting and sound design is not so important that it should bar audiences from your show.


To Critics

Press organisations should actively seek out more reviewers with lived experience of disability, Deafness, or neurodiversity to review shows as non-disabled and neurotypical reviewers were particularly bad at ignoring, overlooking, or misinterpreting these elements in shows this year.

It’s not just with disability art that this should be rectified for, but it should be rectified alongside reviews from different global majority heritages, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and gender identities.

Neurodiverse Review has been an absolute godsend this year! The Fringe Society and venues should support them at all costs so that it can continue for many fringes to come.


To Audiences

Money talks and artists care about online praise and positive publicity. Thoroughly praise venues and artists with good access in their shows if you can, so that it feels worthwhile to those as of yet unconvinced. This can also help other audiences find those shows doing it effectively.

Other than that, this isn’t your problem. Information should be simple and easy to find, not hidden away in sub menus on websites. Spaces and shows should be accessible. Is it really that difficult for a venue to get an access specialist in and to follow their recommendations? It can be harder for a show to make a production accessible if resources are tight, which they are for everyone at the moment, but larger and more established production companies, working with bigger budgets, should be doing better.


  • Artists should do better at building affordable access into their work from the ground up, it doesn’t have to be difficult and some is better than none

  • Venues should offer a lot more to support artists in doing this, and to allow audiences to attend physical and digital versions of performances (both are crucial)

  • Incentives should be given to shows that are taking access seriously

  • Publications should employ more disabled press and critics

  • Audiences who have the energy for it should continue to fight for better access overall and praise good practice

More news from DaDaFest

9 Jul 2024
Someone leans over a desk with a pan in hand writing a letter. Words overlaid 'Dear New Government, An open letter from DaDa'

Dear New Government, From DaDa

DaDa writes an open letter to our new Prime Minister to offer some ideas of key arts and access priorities.

Read More >

25 Jun 2024
Jackie Hagan sit ons a toilet

Tribute to Jackie Hagan

DaDa pays tribute to artist and activist Jackie Hagan.

Read More >

5 Jun 2024
Collage of images of dancers, artists and musicians with green box over saying 'Call out for artist commissions DaDaFest 40th Anniversary Festival'

Call Out for Artist Commissions: DaDaFest 40th Anniversary Festival

Two commissions available for #DDFI40

Deadline 12th July!

Read More >

21 May 2024
Black and white headshots of the 5 new board members alongside a DaDa logo

DaDa Welcome Dynamic New Board Members

DaDa welcomes 5 new board members

Read More >

24 Apr 2024
Patrick Bannon, a RAWD associate artist, stood outside the Open Eye gallery. He wears a silver jacket, with a NASA hoodie, He is being filmed by Jay

Leap Dance Festival brings dance events to the streets and theatres of Liverpool! 26th April - 10th May 2024

DaDa have partnered with Liverpool City Council and supported Leap through a co-commissioned short film developed by RAWD.

Read More >

8 Mar 2024
Porcelain wearing black leotard holds 4 fingers up to the camera. The IWD logo is bottom right

Porcelain Presents Toilet Paper Diaries for International Women's Day 2024

A performance of Porcelain Delaney's Show 'Toilet Paper Diaries' Premieres online to 'Inspire Inclusion' on IWD 2024

Read More >

28 Feb 2024
Rushton lecture image showing Ashok along with funder logos and timings stating online from 28th Feb

DaDa’s Edward Rushton Social Justice Lecture Premieres Online

DaDa’s Rushton Lecture ‘Reclaiming Nonchalance’ presented by Ashokkumar Mistry premieres online 

Read More >

8 Feb 2024
Pink background with white writing saying

DaDa Richard III Statement

DaDaFest has signed the Disabled Artist Alliance’s open letter alongside over 200 individuals and organisations regarding the Globe’s announcement of Richard III casting of a non-disabled actor in the lead role.

Read More >

6 Dec 2023
Banner image of headshots of Alia Alzougbi, Amina Atiq and Dolly Sen with Fly the flag logo between, DaDa logo above.

DaDa Artists 'Fly the Flag'

DaDa artists join 'Fly the Flag' campaign to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Read More >

5 Dec 2023
Image of Liverpool Town Hall at night lit up yellow and blue

Liverpool lights up for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

City buildings lit up in turquise and yellow for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023

Read More >

30 Nov 2023
DaDa announcement post for the annual Rushton Lecture, featuring an image of Ashok Mistry, the speaker at the lecture. with funder logos

Rushton Lecture Panel Confirmed

Edward Rushton Social Justic Lecture takes place 3rd Dec 2023.

Read More >

16 Nov 2023
Image of drag artist Filla Crack in a sparkly golden dress and orange wig.

DaDa Announce Dazzling Cabaret Line Up

Unity Theatre play host to a captivating evening of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists.

Read More >

15 Nov 2023
Two images on the same woman on a red background. In one image she is smiling, and composed wearing a blue tutu. In the other her skin is turning red

DaDa Fellow's New Show 'Toilet Paper Diaries' is Coming!

DaDa Fellow Porcelain Delaney brings her new show 'Toilet Paper Diaries' to Unity Theatre this month.

Read More >

1 Nov 2023
DaDa Winter Programme, Toilet paper diaries, DaDa Cabaret and Rushton Lecture shown with winter scene

DaDaFest Winter Programme 2023

Join DaDa events to warm up the winter nights.

Read More >

28 Sep 2023
Headshot of Ashok Mistry, looking upwards and smiling. Ashok has grey short hair and is wearing a yellow t-shirt. Behind is colourful abstract art

DaDa Announce Ashok Mistry as Keynote for Rushton Lecture 2023

DaDa announce keynote Ashokkumar D Mistry as keynote for their annual Rushton Lecture. 

Read More >

27 Sep 2023
B & W Mark Peachy with National Inclusion Week logo & quote

DaDa Artists Reflect on 'Inclusion'

This National Inclusion Week we reached out to DaDa artists to find out their thoughts on inclusion within the arts sector. 

Read More >

26 Sep 2023
Cabaret performer Diva Hollywood is dressed as a sexy lion tamer, with curly blond wig, bright cabaret style make up and holding a whip

Artist Call Out for DaDa Cabaret Showcase

DaDa is on the hunt for performance pieces by Northwest based Deaf, disabled and Neurodivergent artists for a cabaret night on Friday November 24 2023

Read More >

25 Sep 2023
National inclusion Week Logo. Inside a red circle reads #TakeActionMakeImpact

DaDa insights for National Inclusion Week 2023

For National Inclusion Week 2023 DaDaFest reflect on how they are striving to improve inclusion.

Read More >

17 Aug 2023
Image of DaDa’s Access & Support Coordinator is to the left with grey hair tied back and a black jumper. She stands next to two of the team from blue

Arts and Access at Edinburgh Fringe 2023

DaDa team have been taking in shows by Deaf and disabled artists at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 and keeping an eye out for access initiatives.

Read More >

15 Aug 2023
Liverpool Black History Month Logo in Black and Yellow

Liverpool Black History Month Creative Commission grants

Culture Liverpool have a call out for artists with ideas on how Liverpool can celebrate Black History Month 

Read More >

2 Aug 2023
Image of black woman author Natalie Denny with long black hair, smiling wearing a long sleeve green top.

DaDa Interviews Author Natalie Denny

DaDaFest interview children's author Natalie Denny about the release of her book Keisha Jones Takes on the World

Read More >

30 Jul 2023
Michael - Electric guitar Tyler - Drums Zak - Drums Mathew - Keyboard Jenny - Percussion

DaDa Young Ensemble light up Resonate Hub

DaDa Young Ensemble showcased their latest compositions and covers at Resonate Hub.

Read More >

13 Jul 2023
Dancer in jeans and white t-shirt carries dancer in wheelchair held sideways towards a screen showing a large image of a hand in teal

DaDa collaborates with Liverpool Biennial to present ‘Unmute’ dance theatre featuring local artists

DaDaFest support Unmute Dance Theatre to collaborate with local artists for Liverpool Biennial 2023

Read More >

22 Jun 2023
Ensemble performers pictured Johanna Jacob (Voice) Green top, Michael Brennan (guitar) in a blue and wuite checked shirt, Matthew Nealis (Keyboard)

The DaDa x Philharmonic Ensemble Performance 8th June

Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company and DaDa Ensemble presented new work at the music rooms in Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on 8th June. 

Read More >

5 May 2023
5 portraits of artists arranged like brown glass with the words 'Permission to Speak' around them

It's Deaf Awareness Week 2023!

Celebrating Deaf Awareness Week with resources and throwbacks! 

Read More >

1 May 2023
Dancers in a dark performance space. One lies on the ground, supporting the other who is a wheelchair user, as she tilts herself over him

Join our project with Liverpool Biennial!

Seeking disabled, Deaf and/or neurodivergent dancers to collaborate on a Liverpool Biennial performance

Read More >

24 Apr 2023
Brown haired man stood alongside a black and white photographic self-portrait showing different images of himself superimposed on one another

A DaDa-debuted portrait at LCR photo awards!

Continued success for Mark Peachey's 'Keep Clear' following its inaugural showing at DaDaFest International 2022

Read More >

15 Mar 2023
Black and white headshot of an Indonesian woman in profile with her dark hair in a pixie-cut hairstyle

'The Bodymind as Un-colony' - On Demand version released

An On Demand verison of our 2022 Rushton Lecture is now available

Read More >

1 Mar 2023
Indie/rock gig featuring 2 keyboardists, a bassist, a drummer and a vocalist

We're hiring!

Join the DaDa team as our Operations & Finance Manager

Read More >

27 Feb 2023
Person with long hair onstage alongside a BSL interpreter

DaDa at the Arts Marketing Association

Accessing Digital Culture - DaDa heads to the AMA 

Read More >

21 Feb 2023
Digital banner with a pink & yellow colour-scheme reading '2023 Longlisted Digital Transformation' above some small logos

Digital Culture Awards - DaDa Holograms makes the longlist!

DaDa Holograms nominated and more!

Read More >

31 Jan 2023
Performer onstage wearing a white shirt smiling at her phone

Have your say!

Did you join us for the latest DaDa festival? Let us know what you thought!

Read More >

23 Jan 2023

DaDaFest International Festival 2022 - thanks for joining us!

Huge success for DaDa's 2022 hybrid programme!

Read More >

16 Nov 2022
Hexagonal pattern including the DaDa logo, which is a lightning bolt-shaped speech bubble containing the word 'DaDa'

DDFI2022 half-way point and UK Disability History Month!

DaDaFest International Festival and UK Disability History Month!

Read More >

4 Nov 2022
DaDa logo, which is a lighting bolt-shaped speech bubble contaning the word 'DaDa'

Announcing further funding for DaDa!

DaDa news - National Portfolio Organisation funding!

Read More >

10 Oct 2022
Geometric patterns and the DaDa logo on a blue background

DaDaFest International 2022 - Autumn programme announcement!

6 weeks of disability and Deaf arts programming from 26 October until 3 December

Read More >

26 Sep 2022
A person carrying out tech duties for a theatre production, their face illuminated by a laptop screen in what is otherwise a pitch black space.

Reflections on Ed Fringe accessibility

Thoughts from DaDa's Executive Producer about accessibility at the Edinburgh Fringe

Read More >

20 Jun 2022

Letty McHugh's Book of Hours Launch

Join Letty in person or online for the launch of Book of Hours

Read More >

13 Jun 2022

Shielded in the Community

A call out for you to take part.

Read More >

23 May 2022

DaDaFest International 2022 Launch Day

Keep Sunday 12 June free for events across the city.

Read More >

16 May 2022

Award nomination for Joe Strickland

Our Executive Producer has been nominated for a Best Director award.

Read More >

10 May 2022
Headshots of two young men, Mal Lidgett and Oliver Cross, against a yellow background

DaDa Incubator: Lead Musician Trainees

Announcing our Lead Musician Trainee programme and its participants!

Read More >

5 May 2022
Young people onstage wearing party hats

DaDa at NSDF 2022!

DaDa x NSDF company-members are a hit at NSDF 2022!

Read More >

6 Apr 2022

A statement from DaDa's Board

Wishing our outgoing joint Artistic Director & CEOs every success in future endeavours

Read More >

4 Apr 2022
Image of a mouth biting a pearl necklace against a backdrop which resembles a dirty tablecloth

DaDa x NSDF presents 'Reservation'

DaDa x NSDF company-members present a brand new theatre piece 

Read More >

31 Mar 2022
Two images side by side showing performers appearing via augmented reality

DaDa Holograms: conclusions from our research

Conclusions from our BSL 'holograms' R&D

Read More >

25 Mar 2022
A young performer stood opposite a BSL interpreter projected on the wall

DaDa Holograms: Phase 3

Phase 3 of our DaDa Holograms R&D, featuring Adam Fenton

Read More >

23 Mar 2022
Screenshot from editing software displaying footage of a table onto which augmented reality versions of two performer are projected

DaDa Holograms: Industry Day

A sharing of our R&D findings, and how to attend

Read More >

17 Mar 2022
A collage of images of performer, Rhiannon May, in various different poses all lit in purple and pink lighting

DaDa Holograms: Phase 2

Phase 2 of our DaDa Holograms R&D, this time featuring Rhiannon May 

Read More >

8 Mar 2022
A BSL interpreter against a digital block colour green background

DaDa Holograms: Phase 1

A collaboration with Chronic Insanity for Phase 1 of our DaDa Holograms R&D

Read More >

2 Mar 2022
The British Council logo is white text on a blue background. There are 4 dots in a square and next to them are the worlds British Council

Artist Call Out: Pen Pals Connected

Artist Call Out for British Council funded, International Collaborative Correspondence Project in 2022

Read More >

28 Feb 2022
Poster reading ADHD The Musical above a cartoon of a woman whose face is obscured by a brain

DaDa-supported musical now touring!

Dora Colquhoun's DaDa-supported ADHD-themed musical is now on tour

Read More >

11 Feb 2022
An image taken outside the museum of Liverpool including a colourful Superlambanana sculpture and passersby

DaDa partners with BBC Writersroom!

Apply now for our opportunity in partnership with BBC Writersroom!

Read More >

3 Feb 2022
The words 'Welcome to Without Walls 2022 against a pink and purple swirly background

Without Walls Programme Announcement

Announcing the programme for Without Walls 2022!

Read More >

12 Jan 2022
A square of the Black Gold Arts logo and the Dada logo

STROLLERS Performer Call Out

DaDa and Black Gold Arts are creating a new piece of street theatre to tour outdoor festivals in 2022 and beyond - want to get involved?

Read More >

3 Dec 2021
Headshots of young people alongside text reading 'DaDa x NSDF #IDDP' against a yellow background

International Day of Disabled People: Perspectives from DaDa x NSDF members

Work by members of our DaDa x NSDF company for International Day of Disabled People

Read More >

4 Nov 2021
A toy unicorn emerging from an egg

DaDaFest Scratch 21: Full programme annnounced

Today marks the beginning of DaDaFest Scratch 21, and what's more, we can now reveal the festival's full lineup!

Read More >

2 Nov 2021

Live from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic - the DaDa Ensemble!

Join us in person or online for the opening of DaDaFest Scratch 21!

Read More >

26 Oct 2021
Collage of images featuring artists from the Without Walls programme

DaDa joins Without Walls

Find out about our exciting new working partnership.

Read More >

14 Oct 2021

Don't miss a DaDa-supported hip-hop sharing!

Watch the culmination of BlackFest's Hip Hop Dance For All workshops, supported by DaDa.

Read More >

5 Oct 2021
A young man onstage playing an electric guitar

Youth Music funding for DaDa Ensemble member

DaDa Ensemble member, Josh Henderson, receives a Youth Music grant

Read More >

29 Sep 2021
Headshots of the DaDa Fellows, eight diverse artists on a yellow background alongside the DaDa logo, which is a lightning bolt-shaped speech bubble

DaDa Fellows 2021

Introducing the first cohort of DaDa Fellows

Read More >

29 Jul 2021
Four women onstage during a discussion. One holds a microphone and is speaking, two are listening to her and the other is a sign language interpreter

Unity Theatre Programme: DaDaFest Scratch and more!

DaDaFest-supported artists and events in Unity Theatre's 2021 season 

Read More >

29 Jul 2021
Mind the Gap's logo, which is a square speech bubble containing the words 'MIND THE GAP'

Mind the Gap Assistant Director Call Out

A new opportunity from Mind the Gap to work with Nickie Miles-Wildin

Read More >

21 Jul 2021
Three dancers onstage under purple and green lighting. The foremost is on their knees with their arms spread out dramatically.

Call Out: vogue house seeks performers

House of Suarez are looking for Deaf and disabled artists to get involved in vogue culture and events

Read More >

29 Jun 2021
Headshots of Nickie Miles-Wildin and Adam Fenton

'Tuning In' with Adam Fenton

Takeaways from Adam Fenton's play performed over Zoom, directed by Nickie Miles-Wildin

Read More >

3 Jun 2021
Young people onstage, the foremost of which has long brown hair, wears denim dungarees with a pink tshirt and is looking offstage to her left.

Call Out: DaDaFest x NSDF

An opportunity for young Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists to come together and create work for NSDF festival. 

Read More >

24 May 2021

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Today, 24 May 2021, we would like to share DaDaFest’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion statement. 

Read More >

12 May 2021

Tune in to a new rehearsed reading!

A DaDaFest-supported Adam Fenton sharing with GRAEAE and Theatre by the Lake

Read More >

7 May 2021

Fests in the North West!

Fab festivals to check out in Liverpool and Manchester

Read More >

28 Apr 2021

DaDaFest Florescence Fellows

Meet the DaDaFest Florescence Fellows!

Read More >

27 Apr 2021

Aidan Moesby's Digital Café

From a DaDaFest Library Commission to a Digital Café!

Read More >

15 Mar 2021

DaDaFest Ensemble musician call out

Are you a musician with a passion for creating new music?

Read More >

17 Feb 2021

Nickie Miles-Wildin and Grace Ng announced as new joint head of Liverpool’s DaDaFest

We're very excited to announce our new joint Artistic Director & CEO

Read More >

2 Feb 2021

Hip Hop Dance project with Blackfest!

DaDaFest is supporting a series of workshops from Blackfest, making hip hop dance accessible to d/Deaf or disabled participants

Read More >

4 Dec 2020

Translations: Your Feedback

Please fill in our questionnaire about your experience of Translations.

Read More >

3 Dec 2020

Coming Soon...

Here are some exciting events to look forward to in 2021 from DaDaFest.

Read More >

28 Nov 2020

Artist Blog: The Making of First Do No Harm

Find out about Helen Seymour's piece featured in our festival programme!

Read More >

30 Oct 2020

Panels, Q&As and more additions to our Festival programme!

Panels, podcasts and further additions to our DaDaFest International programme!

Read More >

27 Oct 2020

Call out for participants - "Scars: Memories of the Skin"

Share your story as part of Ngozi Ugochukwu's DaDaFest International exhibition. 

Read More >

27 Oct 2020

Call out for underrepresented BSL interpreters

A call out for registered interpreters who identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or as BIPOC

Read More >

23 Oct 2020

CEO / Artistic Director Job

We are looking for someone to lead DaDaFest into our next phase.

Read More >

15 Oct 2020

DaDaFest International Programme Announcement!

Find out what's in store from our 2020 festival line-up!

Read More >

25 Sep 2020

Join the cast of Laurence Clark's 'Cured'

Apply to join the cast of 'Cured', a play in development with Liverpool's Royal Court

Read More >

22 Sep 2020

Deaf Rave Festival 2020

Countdown to Deaf Rave Festival 2020 this weekend!

Read More >

10 Sep 2020

Meet the Artists in Translations 2020

We're pleased to announce some of the artists who'll be taking part in DaDaFest International 2020: Translations.

Read More >

27 Aug 2020

A call out for d/Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent composers

This call out is from Psappha, the Manchester based music ensemble.

Read More >

25 Aug 2020

Celebrating 50 years of Alf’s Act with Manchester Histories

Remembering the world's first legislation around disability.

Read More >

19 Aug 2020

Inclusion at DaDaFest: New plans and policies

An update on diversity within DaDaFest

Read More >

5 Aug 2020

Introducing our Digital Producer

Introducing the latest addition to the DaDaFest team!

Read More >

31 Jul 2020

Our Artist Call Out is now closed!

After an exciting month of receiving submissions from around the world, applications for our DaDaFest Commissions have now closed across all three strands. 

Read More >

7 Jul 2020

Venice International Performance Art Week: Pierce Starre's Reflections

Reflections on Venice International Performance Art Week from live artist, Pierce Starre

Read More >

30 Jun 2020

We Shall Not Be Removed Alliance

We've joined a new disability arts alliance. Find out more about the campaign!

Read More >

26 Jun 2020

Artist Call Out: Libraries Commission

A brand new call out for work by disabled artists themed around libraries.

Read More >

18 Jun 2020

A statement from DaDaFest

Addressing the need for change and a more intersectional approach.

Read More >

8 Jun 2020

Artist Call Out for New Commissions

Updates on our festival and a new call out for work by disabled artists!

Read More >

13 May 2020

Broken Biscuits at LightNight at home

Celebrate #LightNightAtHome with a DaDaFest commission.

Read More >

28 Apr 2020

Top Tammy Reynolds moments!

Celebrate good news from a DaDaFest-supported artist by revisiting our events.

Read More >

24 Apr 2020

Support for Frontline Workers

Result CIC are offering support sessions to frontline workers. Get in touch!

Read More >

18 Apr 2020

Funding opportunities for artists

An overview of Arts Council Emergy Funding and more paid opportunities

Read More >

2 Apr 2020

DaDaFest Scratch: Our Advisors' Review

Our advisory group give us their thoughts on DaDaFest Scratch at Unity Theatre. 

Read More >

20 Mar 2020
world thumbnail

COVID-19: an update from DaDaFest

Following government guidance and in order to protect our artists, participants and staff, the DaDaFest office will be closed until further notice, with all team-members now working remotely. 

Read More >

21 Feb 2020

'Footsteps Quiet in Shadow' - Ben Lunn tells us more!

With DaDaFest-supported concert, ‘Footsteps Quiet in Shadow’ coming up, 4 March at The Bluecoat, we asked composer, Ben Lunn, to tell as a bit more about the line-up. 

Read More >

31 Jan 2020

Marshmallows and #SquadGoals

Find out what we learned from our Rushton/Raw day of events.


Read More >

13 Jan 2020

Call Out: DaDaFest Advisors

We are looking for D/deaf or disabled individuals with a passion for the arts to join our group of advisors and help shape the future of DaDaFest. Could this be you?

Read More >

29 Oct 2019

DaDaFest and Unity Theatre announce exciting new partnership

DaDaFest is delighted to announce a brand new partnership with innovative, radical and pioneering Liverpool arts venue, Unity Theatre.

Read More >

29 Oct 2019

DaDaFest Artist Self-Development Programme

We are excited to be launching a programme of workshops and one-to-one coaching sessions for artists who identify as disabled or D/deaf*.

Read More >

28 Oct 2019

Dr Erin Pritchard chairs panel discussion at Disabled Women in Arts and Culture: Who’s Calling the Shots?

We are delighted to have Dr Erin Pritchard act as chair of the panel discussion of our landmark event.

Read More >

30 Aug 2019

Artistic Director Ruth Gould leaves DaDaFest

After almost 20 years of service, Ruth Gould is leaving DaDaFest to move on to pastures new. 

Read More >

29 May 2019

Introducing…DaDaFest Ensemble!

Our very first DaDaFest Scratch is fast approaching and in the lead up, we would like to introduce you to some of the talented artists who will be performing at the event.

Read More >

1 May 2019

DaDaFest Scratch

DaDaFest is launching a new programme of events over the next three years to celebrate the best of disability art in the North West. 

Read More >

30 Apr 2019

Pupils invited to music premiere!

Free live music experience direct to the classroom. 

DaDaFest Ensemble to perform new composition, live from Liverpool Philharmonic.

Read More >

25 Jan 2019

Get a taste of the creative industries

As part of DaDaFest’s Artist Development Programme, we are offering ten placements within the creative industries. 

Read More >

24 Jan 2019

Introducing our new Chair…Sally Gannon

We are delighted to introduce Sally Gannon as the new Chair on our Board of Trustees. Sally joins us from Liverpool John Moores University where she is Strategic Planning Officer.

Read More >

22 Jan 2019

We’ve opened registration to our Artist Development programme

We can help you achieve your goals.

Read More >

10 Dec 2018

DaDaFest International 2018 hailed a success

Thousands of visitors from across the UK and beyond experienced the five-week DaDaFest International which took place at host venues across the Liverpool City Region.

Read More >

5 Dec 2018

Artistic Director Ruth Gould appointed as one of five new Patrons to Graeae Theatre Company

We are delighted to announce that our Artistic Director, Ruth Gould, has been appointed as one of five new Patrons to Graeae Theatre Company.

Read More >

3 Dec 2018

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2018

We are delighted to be parterning with Liverpool City Council to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues.

Read More >

27 Nov 2018

DaDaFest International 2018 Emerging Artists: Destination Sound

Destination Sound is a platform for new music celebrating the talent and creativity of Disabled musicians.

Read More >

20 Nov 2018

DaDaFest International 2018 Emerging Artists: Jordan Connerty

There are some amazing emerging artists who are performing new work as part of DaDaFest International 2018. We are following a few of them as they make their way to the stage.

Read More >

20 Nov 2018

Acclaimed disability arts organisation DaDaFest work with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Performers visited patients at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to stage a special dance performance organised by DaDaFest.

Read More >

20 Nov 2018

Francesca Martinez visits two North West venues as part of DaDaFest International 2018

The award-winning comedian brings her What The **** Is Normal show to Liverpool and St Helens

Read More >

31 Oct 2018

A handy at-a-glance festival event list

We've put together a handy list of all the events that are taking place throughout DaDaFest International 2018.

Read More >

31 Oct 2018

A festival chat with our Artistic Director

We sat down with our Artistic Director, Ruth Gould, to have a chat about DaDaFest International 2018. 

Read More >

25 Sep 2018

DaDaFest announce their festival programme

DaDaFest International returns to Liverpool City Region venues this autumn showcasing a series of high-quality cutting-edge work.

Read More >

28 Jun 2018

Announcing...Sir Ken Robinson!

We are delighted to have on board a new patron.

Read More >

28 Jun 2018

DaDaFest International 2018 announced with performance by Jess Thom

Award-winning disability and D/deaf arts organisation DaDaFest announces Merseyside wide festival this November.

Read More >

26 Apr 2018

Performers and theatre makers call out

Unity Theatre, Action Transport Theatre and DaDaFest are working together to create a high quality seasonal show based on the story of Beauty and the Beast for family audiences in December 2018.

Read More >

16 Oct 2017

Sir Bert Massie CBE

Last night we heard the sad news that Sir Bert Massie has passed away.

Read More >

13 Sep 2017

Daphne Does Good at DaDaFest

Agony Aunt, Daphne will be the very, very special guest at DaDaFest’s Past, Present & Possibilities at the Bluecoat

Read More >

22 Aug 2017

Introduction from Ruth Gould

Greetings friends, comrades, supporters and visitors. 

Read More >

14 Jul 2017

Past, Present & Possibilities.

Celebrating 300 years of the Bluecoat

Read More >

29 Jun 2017

Creative UK Prosper Programme

A good week just got even better! 

Read More >

23 Jun 2017

Thank you Chris…

It was with great sadness that I learnt of Chris Hammond’s passing this week

Read More >

14 Jun 2017

DaDaFest in the Spotlight

Barry Avison featured on ITV’s Good Morning.

Read More >

25 May 2017

Congratulations Ruth

Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by  Liverpool John Moores University

Read More >

25 May 2017

Call Out For Bluecoat 300

DaDaFest Mini-Commissions

Read More >

30 Mar 2017

My trip to Yerevan, Armenia

I was lucky to be offered to opportunity to visit Yerevan in Armenia.

Read More >

1 Mar 2017

Young Disabled People Putting Together Our Arts Festival

"If art, all art, is concerned with truth, then a society in denial will not find much use for it."

Read More >

24 Feb 2017

Young DaDa Ensemble Project Video

Watch a fantastic new video from our pioneering Young DaDa Ensemble 

Read More >

7 Feb 2017

Palestine & The Joys of Flying

Currently, I am on the plane to Munich where I ought to catch a connecting flight direct to Manchester.

Read More >

25 Jan 2017

3 Days in Ramallah, Palestine

Two days in and I am in love

Read More >

25 Jan 2017

Under the Skin with Jenny Sealey MBE

Under the Skin is a series of interviews conducted during DaDaFest International 2016. 

Read More >

23 Jan 2017

Under the Skin with John McGrath

Under the Skin is a series of interviews conducted during DaDaFest International 2016.

Read More >

18 Jan 2017

My Time at DaDaFest

Rebecca Andrews our Digital Marketing Apprentice finished her apprenticeship this month.

Read More >

5 Jan 2017

Young DaDaFest 2017 Open Call

Showcasing the creativity of disabled and deaf young people from Merseyside.

Read More >

1 Nov 2016

Respect Project 2016 Open Workshops

Are you a young woman aged 16 or over? Would you like to have your voice heard?

Read More >

26 Oct 2016

Young DaDaFest 2017 Announcement

Young DaDaFest will return bigger and better than ever for 2017!

Read More >

16 Aug 2016

DaDaFest Receives Funding

DaDaFest is delighted to announce that we have received a grant from Big Lottery Fund for “DaDaFest Rookies”.

Read More >

27 Jul 2016

Young DaDaFest Perform

I was really excited to see Young DaDaFest

Read More >

12 Jul 2016

Young DaDaFest 2016: Music Review

Guest reviewer Tammy Reynolds sums up her thoughts on the first of this year’s Young DaDaFest events

Read More >

3 May 2016

Xander & The Peace Pirates

Xander & The Peace Pirates Perform for our Young DaDa Ensemble

Read More >

26 Apr 2016

Young DaDaFest 2016 Announcement

Award Nominated Young DaDaFest Expands into Trio of Events 

Read More >

25 Nov 2015

DaDaFest Hosts First Ever Rushton Social Justice Lecture

DaDaFest Hosts First Ever Rushton Social Justice Lecture

Read More >

17 Feb 2015

Young DaDaFest 2015 – Open Call

This year’s Young DaDaFest will be happening at the Everyman Theatre.

Read More >

21 Jan 2015

Watch Recipe for Scouse Online Now

Young DaDa Recipe for Scouse Film is available to watch online.

Read More >

Find out what's coming up next
Sign up to be the first to know about our events and new opportunities.
Send me news