Accessibility and Inclusion

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

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.

Access and Inclusion Feedback

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.


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 an event venue has a hearing loops or assistive listening system available to assist you if you are hard of hearing. These systems transmit sound from the event directly through your hearing aid or through venue-provided headphones. We recommend you contact the venue directly for further information on or assistance with listening services.

Auslan InterpretingAuslan Interpreting

RISING is providing Auslan Interpreted tours and Interpreted sessions for specific events across the festival program. Look for the Auslan symbol displayed on the event page or check the Accessibility Services section using the blue dots links below. Use the promo code AUSLAN or the booking links below to secure your spot.

Audio Described ToursAudio Described Tours

RISING is providing Audio Described sessions and walking tours for a number of events. An audio describer might describe what is happening on stage or on a screen in real time, or how an exhibition looks, which may be useful if you are blind or have low vision. This service will usually mean a personal listening device is provided. Use the promo code DESCRIPTION or one of the booking links below to secure your spot.

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 might be useful for you if you have autism, sensory sensitivities or a learning disability, or live with anxiety or have experienced trauma.

Events listed as relaxed performances have committed to designing one or more performances with thoughtful changes to the lighting or sound. 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. Check the ‘Accessibility’ section on each event page for dates of captioned performances and details about Captioning.

Venue accessibility

Our aim is to make sure you have all the information you need to enjoy RISING and that you feel welcome whether you use a mobility aid or cane, assistance animal, or you are bringing a companion.

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

Venues where access conditions are more challenging, such as at older or heritage listed buildings, can be identified by the symbol for Assisted Access as described below. If you have access needs or hold a Companion Card and want to book a ticket for your Companion don’t forget to let us know byur Customer Service team on 03 9662 4242 or via email.

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

This symbol indicates 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

Most RISING venues are wheelchair accessible. Where the wheelchair symbol can be found on an event page, then the venue has indicated to RISING that they are wheelchair accessible. Look out for the symbol on the event pages.

Companion Cards

Companion Card holders are entitled to free companion ticket to RISING events, experiences and performances. Call 03 9662 4242 or let us know via email. You can present your card to our box office team on arrival. We welcome Companion Card tickets at all our events, however if Companions wishing to partake in the meal aspect of our food events 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 honouring First Peoples’ and culturally diverse stories.

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.

Our inclusion 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

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