River of Light 2023 will be the most accessible installment to date, according to plans.
With a track record of attracting around 250,000 visitors to the stunning illuminated trail, Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team, which is in charge of curating and staging the annual event, has put plans in place to make the twelve installations as accessible to all visitors as possible.
For the first time, the event, which runs from Friday 27 October until Sunday 5 November, will play host to two quiet hour sessions that 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 accommodation that provides accessible options.
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.”
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.