It’s honestly rare to see disabled people in the arts scene. Every so often, along comes an incredible performer like theatre performer Ramesh Meyyappan, or a work that attempts to show that the disabled are capable too, such as Musical Theatre Limited’s My Love Is Blind, but to have an entire festival full of disabled arts? Unheard of!
But if you think that there aren’t enough talented disabled people out there to form an entire conglomerate of artists, that’s where you’re absolutely wrong, and where the inaugural True Colours Festival comes in to prove the sheer amount of diversity and skill that’s present throughout the entire disabled community.
Presented by UNESCO and The Nippon Foundation, and produced by Very Special Arts Singapore, the inaugural True Colours Festival takes place from 22nd to 25th March 2018. The festival will be bringing in up to 20 performing artistes and companies from countries as far flung as Canada, Kazakhstan and Japan, and closer to home, with artistes from Australia, Malaysia and of course, Singapore. These artistes will perform at a multimedia concert experience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the accompanying True Colours Festival Village, a short walk from the concert venue at OCBC Square.
Highlights of the lineup released so far include local singer Danial Bawthan. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 4, Danial is confined to a wheelchair, but continues to make music as a multi-talented singer-songwriter, specializing as an a cappella beatbox performer and a beat and hip hop music producer. Danial is also a wheelchair rugby player and has plans to release his debut EP soon. Other local artists in the lineup include pianist Azariah Tan, whose congenital bilateral sensorineural hearing loss left him with only about 15 percent of his hearing, while audiences can also expect to catch Australian singer Tony Dee’s soulful voice and larger than life presence, and visually impaired Malaysian busking troupe Caliph Buskers.
Beyond the concert, the festival will also be holding the very first Arts and Disabilities International Conference 2018. Aimed at professionals and practitioners in the field, the conference will feature a slate of talks, workshops and discussions with speakers from the UK, Australia, Canada, Cambodia and more. Look out for the full lineup to be released soon, and get set to experience the full suite of artistic aptitudes and flair these very special artists have been blessed with, and ready yourselves for a truly unique all-inclusive concert extravaganza next March.
True Colours Festival 2018 takes place from 22nd – 25th March 2018 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and OCBC Square. Tickets to be released on 11th January 2018 from Sports Hub Tix, more information available on their website. Tickets are priced at S$30 with concessions and discounts. For the first time, an inclusive seating arrangement will be introduced to allow wheelchair users to enjoy the concert experience seated together with their family members and friends.