Accessibility and Inclusion

RISING is centred on the idea that culture is a human right

Each year RISING will ask the people of Melbourne to mark, interrogate and celebrate a moment in time defined by the artists of today and tomorrow. Fun, public ritual and togetherness intersect with huge moments in performance, public art and music in a beautiful, messy and illuminating expression of our city's culture.

Empowerment, collaboration, generosity and inclusion are part of RISING’s DNA. We invite all to participate, to be represented or at least be present. We believe to be excluded is to be invisible.


We will be offering several access and assistive services for different program items. More information and services will be added as we get closer to the festival. Check event pages for the below icons.

Assistive ListeningAssistive Listening

This symbol indicates event venues that have hearing loops or assistive listening systems available for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. These systems transmit sound from the event directly through a person’s hearing aid or through venue-provided headphones. We recommend you contact the venue directly for further information or assistance.

Auslan InterpretingAuslan Interpreting

RISING is providing Auslan Interpreting for sessions across the festival program, from a First Peoples food tasting experience to immersive theatre. Look for the Auslan symbol displayed on event pages—this means one or more sessions will be Auslan interpreted. Check the Event Informtation section on event pages for dates and details.

Audio Described ToursAudio Described Tours

RISING has several audio described sessions for events, providing an exciting live experience for people who are blind or have low vision. An audio describer uses their skills to describe what is happening in real time or describe how an exhibition looks or what is happening on stage.

This service will usually mean a personal listening device is provided to enable you to enjoy audio descriptions from where you are in the space. Check the Event Information section on each event page for dates of audio described performances.

Relaxed PerformancesRelaxed Performances

Open to everyone, these RISING sessions have been specifically designed to create a safe and welcoming environment for people who feel they might benefit from a more relaxed environment. This could include people with autism, sensory sensitivities or a learning disability, as well as those living with anxiety or who have experienced trauma.

Events listed as relaxed performances have committed to designing one or more performances with thoughtful changes to the lighting or sound. For these sessions an information pack with clear directions and information about the performance, and the location of a break out space if one is available, among other things. Check the Event Information section on event pages for relaxed performances dates.

RISING will be announcing relaxed performances soon.

CaptioningCaptioned performances

For these performances, captions are displayed on a screen for those of you who prefer to read what is being said. Open Captioning is always in view and cannot be turned off. Closed Captioning can be activated or deactivated by the viewer. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of captioned performances.

Venue accessibility

RISING will provide accessibility to venues and experiences. As planning progresses for RISING, we'll be able to provide further detailed information on accessibility provisions.

Our aim is to make sure all people with an accessibility need can enjoy RISING in its full form, whether that need is text capabilities on the website, or the use of a mobility aid, cane, assistance animal, or pram on-ground. Due to existing conditions and site constraints, some select venues require assisted accessibility.

Venue Access Drop-Down

Click on the Venue Access drop-down on each event page to see details on following:

  • Nearby accessible parking options
  • Nearby accessible drop-off points
  • The closest wheelchair-accessible tram and train stops
  • The approximate distance covered by a participant to complete the experience
  • The location of accessible entrances and bathrooms
  • Hearing augmentation available in the venue
  • Intra-site transport options available within the venue
  • Dog-rest areas

We also recommend visiting journey for the most up-to-date accessible transport services to your event of choice.

Assisted AccessAssisted Access

Some of our venues unfortunately have limitations for those with mobility needs. This symbol indicates where assistance from a companion is necessary for wheelchair users to navigate the space. Please see the Venue Access section of the event page for details of our assisted access plan for that venue and contact our customer service team to arrange a free companion assistance ticket along with your booking.

Wheelchair AccessibleWheelchair Accessible

Accessibility varies from venue to venue, and if an event shows this wheelchair symbol, then the venue has indicated to RISING that they are wheelchair accessible. Look out for the symbol on the event pages, and if you have any questions please contact our Ticketing team on 03 9662 4242 or via email.

Companion Cards

Companion Card holders are eligible for a free companion ticket to RISING events, experiences and performances on showing the card to our box office team. Please contact us on 03 9662 4242 or email. to book. We welcome Companion Card tickets at all our events, however if carers wish to partake in the meal aspect of our food events they will need to purchase a separate ticket. Head here for more information on Companion Cards.


We actively seek out, invite and include the multitude of communities and cultures that make up Melbourne with a focus on First Peoples’ stories.

Our goals for Year One are

  • Collaborate with First Peoples leaders and communities to connect a broader audience to this rich culture
  • Be informed, aware and interested in the issues that impact the city, and our place in the world
  • Move the perception of the arts from pretentious and elitist, to democratic and inclusive
  • Generate moments of intangible, social and ceremonial transcendence
  • Embed cultural diversity within the organisation
  • Bring people from different cultural, political and social backgrounds together and help them share their stories
  • Bring art to public places, curating a program that includes free and low-cost experiences to invite participation and discovery
  • Create moments of shared ritual, where people can transcend the everyday and feel a connection to their community through breaking bread, art and expression
  • Foster a culture of curiosity and enquiry
  • Encourage different views of the world and trust lived experience

At RISING, we have plans and strategies in place to keep us on track—an Accessibility Action Plan, a Reconciliation Plan, an Equity Action Plan and a Community Engagement Strategy—but we don't just write policy documents, we take action.

We recognise we won’t get everything right straight out of the gate. We invite constructive criticism and we don't shy away from challenging the status quo. We're prepared to rip things up and start again.


We recognise that feeling truly welcomed by RISING extends far beyond what has been possible in 2021. If you have a moment to share your experiences please reach out and let us know what we got right—or what needs our attention—so we can take aim at building the inclusive festival of our dreams in 2022.

Please send us an email at or via mail to PO Box 10, Flinders Lane, Victoria 8009. We’ll respond in writing within 48 business hours. 

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    Principal public partners
    Creative Victoria
    Visit Victoria