At the six edition of Electric Castle, the festival unforgettable experience offered to the participants represented also a first for the musical events in Romania. At Mastercard’s invitation, Amber Galloway Gallego, the most known translator of the mimic-gesture language in the world, got up on the main stage alongside the artists and interpreted their songs for the persons with hearing impairment.
A national and international Premiere
For the first time in Romania, almost 200 persons with hearing impairment enjoyed the music in all of its forms, but also the festival’s complete experiences, from the access gates to the main stage. Therefore, Electric Castle, was one of the musical events with the biggest number of participants from this community, at a global level.
I love music and I know, from personal experience, how important is to eliminate the sound’s barriers. Therefore, when I was invited by Mastercard and Electric Castle to take part in the festival I accepted on the spot, knowing that together we will mark an historic moment in the deaf community in Romania. Still, in order for this to have the wanted effect, it’s needed a very high collaboration level that will bring the mimic-gesture interpretation of the music at the music events to a normality stage. I met at Electric Castle a lot of enthusiastic and excited people because they were able to enjoy, for the first time, the music, in such a context. Moreover, I hope that this moment will also contribute to the diminishing of some preconceptions when it comes to the deaf people’s abilities at the workplace,” said Amber Galloway Gallego.
New music dimensions
Music is for everybody, no matter the age, the ethnicity, the social category or the belonging to a community with special needs. On those grounds, Mastercard developed Sensory Playground, a space where the festival goers experimented, through the means of technology, new music dimensions. Throughout the festival’s five days, 3.200 persons were able to hear here the music not only audio, but multi-sensory: through the 20 SubPac vests, the festival goers felt the music’s beat, a sphere with the diameter of two meters vibrated on the rhythm from the main stage, the second sphere, with the same diameter and LED screen played the rhythm visually, a Van der Graaf generator offered the participants an electric experience and the capsule-collection Summer Vibes, signed by IVY and The Stories of O, completed the lifestyle experience.
During the last years, the music festivals in Romania registered a significant growth of participants, from one edition to another. Therefore, Mastercard launches and open invitation to the music events organizers of joining the accessibility initiative, in order to offer everybody equal chances of enjoying these experiences.
Inclusion doesn’t mean that we are all the same, but that we are respecting and celebrating the differences. It means to be emphatic and paying attention to the needs of others, both emotional and functional. At the beginning of each year we launched the brand’s audio identity in Romania and, also then, we thought that the music needs to be for everybody, that we can develop new way through which it would become accessible to the deaf persons, even in places that breathe through music. We took a look at the existent technology and we found solutions for creating a hub centered on each person’s needs and therefore saw the light the sensory space. We wanted a change in better and we thought instantly at Amber, a very expressive interpret and an extraordinary person alongside whom we succeeded in breaking the sound’s barriers. There were days charged with emotions, when the joy lived alongside the community of people with dead impairment was, truly, priceless. We would want that other events will also join this initiative, to build together a better future in which the accessibility would become an element of normality at festivals and concerts,” said Ada Iftodi, Marketing Manager Mastercard.
New possibilities for the future
The initiative started before the festival,in May,when Amber came to Romania for the first time at an workshop organized by Mastercard with the occasion of the General Assembly of the Deaf Union in Europe.