Live Audience Accessibility & Augmentation (‘LAAA’)
|Project lead||Adrian Bossey|
|Centre alignment||Centre for Blended Realities|
|Start date||31 January 2023|
|End date||31 July 2023|
The LAAA project aimed to evaluate audience experiences of engaging with authentic ‘live’ music performances, including those augmented with haptic technology which transforms sound into felt vibration. LAAA was delivered by Cornwall Business School, in partnership with AMATA.
Attendees at LAAA events, at AMATA in May 2023, were invited to experience Beat Blocks a new Bass flooring system which transforms sound into felt vibration. Working with partners Beat Blocks, Deaf Rave, Attitude is Everything and In Place of War, LAAA facilitated the research alongside knowledge exchange and outreach activity.
LAAA delivered 9 events comprising, 3 live concerts, 2 school workshops, 2 in-conversation presentations, 1 haptic sound installation and 1 Culture & Tourism Workshop, as well as providing subsidised places on a CPD course.
The UK live music industry has been criticised for challenges to inclusivity relating to a range of audience demographics and requirements, including accessibility for people who are Deaf or disabled. Increasingly live music events take the form of hybrid events which combine both in-person and virtual experiences (Linthicum 2021:2). Information Communication Technologies (‘ICT’) can be deployed to augment the way in which many audiences experience live music and offers some potential to increase access. The general term haptics relates to the sense of touch (Brewster 2005: 2). Introducing touch into multimedia applications concerned with sight and sound has been described as the “next critical step” in their development (El Saddik 2007: 11).
The LAAA project addresses: Audience perceptions of live music performances augmented with haptic ICT and pilot’s a ‘Liveness 4:0’ scale regarding ICT enhanced performances at music festivals. It is also intended to write up LAAA as an exemplar of research-informed KE activity for the live music sector.
The immersive experience provided by LAAA was also intended to intersect with a multitude of collaborative research inquiries underway in AMATA, particularly in relation to immersive performance, sound and the environment, health and wellbeing.
The LAAA project builds on previous work by Adrian Bossey, most specifically:
- BOSSEY, A. (2019) Industry perceptions of potential digital futures for live performance in the staging and consumption of music festivals. The Routledge Handbook of Festivals, Abingdon: Routledge.
- BOSSEY, A. (2020) Accessibility All Areas? UK live music industry perceptions of current practice and Information and Communication Technology improvements to accessibility for music festival attendees who are Deaf or disabled. International Journal of Event and Festival Management. Volume 11. Issue 1. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
- BOSSEY, A. (2023 TBC) Liveness 4.0: a new paradigm for accessibile performances at music festivals. In Virtual Events Management. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers.
- BOSSEY, A. (2023 TBC) Do you think ICT enhanced performances are really ‘live’ music? In, International Case Studies in Event Management ed. by MAIR,J, AKTAS, G and KOZAK, M. Abingdon: Routledge
- BOSSEY, A. (2023 TBC) Piloting scales to measure perceptions of liveness regarding ICT enhanced performances at music festivals. Accepted for publication subject to review.
These works contribute to international discourse around liveness, accessibility, teaching and pedagogy relating to music festivals.
The LAAA project contributed to research, knowledge exchange, APP outreach, course promotion and student experience/employability outputs.
Following a literature review, previous research and expert feedback, two five-point Likert scales were generated to garner respondent opinions regarding perceptions of liveness. 6 LAAA events were devised to support the gathering of research data via on-line questionnaires:
In Place of War presents: Around the World in 80 Raves featuring live performances from Deaf Rave AND student performers Ghetto Orange + Lobisen
An in-conversation event between Suzanne Bull, founder of Attitude is Everything and Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University, which explored increasing access to live music for performers and audiences who are Deaf or disabled
Deaf Rave DJ Workshops for school groups which offered attendees the opportunity to experience Woojer Haptic Vests whilst developing DJ-ing skills and provided access to AMATA Music student ensemble performances experienced using the haptic flooring.
An in-conversation event between Lucy Evans, Producer and Events Manager for In Place of War explored the Around the World in 80 Raves project.
Haptic Thresholds: Feeling the World Through Sound. A haptic sound installation by researchers working at the intersection of soundscape ecology, aural diversity, voice studies, and sound-based composition.
Accessing Culture & Tourism Workshops with Access Cornwall and Rowan James, founder of Beat Blocks. Haptic Flooring demonstration with student performers Achilles Heal + The Beau Bennett Collective supported local businesses considering enhancing their provision to people who are Deaf or disabled.
These events were also designed to deliver knowledge exchange and outreach outputs. LAAA provided subsidised places on the Attitude is Everything course, to visitor attractions and/or music venues, to improve industry practices around accessibility for people who are Deaf or disabled at live events.
Outcomes & outputs
|KPI||Actual project totals|
|Attendees at events||255|
LAAA Businesses supported through participation:
- Beat Blocks
- Deaf Rave
LAAA Businesses supported through attendance:
- Tate St Ives
- Lapa Valley
- Access Cornwall
- Services for Tourism
- Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions
- Visit Cornwall
- Quick Panda Productions/The Great Escape
- In Place of War
- Attitude is Everything
LAAA Schools supported through attendance:
- Mounts Bay School
- The Deaf Academy
LAAA Businesses supported through separate visits/discussion/introductions:
- Newquay Zoo
- Lost Gardens of Helligan
- Seahaven Pride Festival
- Please note that the CPD courses are yet to run, so are not included.
LAAA Research outputs:
- 76 completed questionnaires thus far (which will hopefully inform two journal articles). An additional journal article relating to KE/Outreach methodology is also planned.
The Live Audience Accessibility & Augmentation (‘LAAA’) research project has received funding from HEIF.
- Beat Blocks
- Deaf Rave
- Attitude is Everything
- In Place of War
- ASONE Hub
The project’s lead investigator is Adrian Bossey, (ORCHID iD 0000-0002-9874-6323) who has been undertaking research into potential digital futures for live performance in the staging and consumption of music festivals for approximately 5 years. Adrian wrote the project bid, devised the overarching methodology and approached key music-based partner organisations.
Dr Natalie Semley approached and managed tourism related partners and curated the Accessing Culture & Tourism workshops.
Dr Antti Sakari Saario acted as academic lead for AMATA and contributed to a collaborative sonic research experiment ‘Haptic Thresholds’ with Dr D Ferrett and PhD researchers Dinah Hayward (aural diversity) and Tom Hull (soundscape ecology).
A highlight for many involved was the visit of students from Exeter Deaf School, who had the opportunity to experience the AMATA Function Band’s performance led by Senior Lecturer, Sam Murray. This encounter resonated deeply with all involved and the joy of music was palpable in the room.
Special recognition is due to the remarkable performances by Ghetto Orange, Lobisen, The Beau Bennett Collective, Achilles Heel, and Pete Hooper and the AMATA Technicians Alex Smith and James Scarle for the work throughout the week.
Our partners Beat Blocks, Deaf Rave, Attitude is Everything and In Place of War all made essential contributions to LAAA.
- Adrian Bossey
- Dr Natalie Semley
- Antti Saario
- D Ferret
- Sam Murray
- Peter Hooper
- Alex Smith
- James Scarle
- James Randell
- Teresa Van Woerkom
- Dinah Hayward
- Tom Hull
- Tom Bird
- Freya Pretty
- Izzy Davies
- LJ Downs-Ahearn
- Sass Brennan
- Osian Webster-Bidder
- Rowan James (Beat Blocks)
- Claude (Beat Blocks)
- Troi Lee (Deaf Rave)
- Matthew (Deaf Rave)
- Suzanne Bull (Attitude is Everything)
- Stephan (Attitude is Everything)
- Lucy Evans (In Place of War)