Two Vic Festivals Are Easing Strobe Lights & Changing Stage Techniques To Be More Inclusive

strobe lights meredith golden plains

Two music festivals in Victoria are actively working to become more accessible and inclusive by easing the use of strobe lights for future events. The decision comes after an artist called out the problematic lighting while on stage and punters followed up with feedback to the festival. File this one under “things you simply love to see”.

The shift away from hard strobe lighting comes after Melbourne outfit Our Carlson tore other artists a new one for using lights that can trigger seizures during his set at Meredith in late 2022.

“If any of you have got strobe lights in your sets you’re fuckin’ ableist … If you see someone using strobes later, normalise booing and just boo ’em,” Carlson said, per The Guardian.

“Then we can all have fun together safely. Catch the fuck up, Meredith.”

The omnipresent being governing Meredith Muisic Festival and Golden Plains — known as Aunty Meredith — released a statement on the future of strobes in the Supernatural Amphitheatre (AKA the Sup’) ahead of the venue’s autumnal festival this weekend.

The festivals’ team confirmed that the Sup’ would no longer use light primarily for strobing effects and move to use lighting that’s less harmful to people with sensory issues and epilepsy.

“We are in the process of making The Sup’ more accessible, which includes making significant changes to stage lighting,” the statement read.

“With the advent of LED lighting, strobing changed from being a specific type of light to a lighting effect, with many light fixtures (and even screens) capable of generating flashing and flickering effects.

“After consultation and consideration, we have taken steps to greatly reduce the potentially harmful use of these effects in The Sup’.”

The festival body said it will be redesigning the festivals’ single-stage lighting rig, bringing in new guidelines for using flashing and flickering effects and limiting the brightness, flash rate, fade time and duration of the lighting setup for future events.

“Taken together, we have minimized what is commonly understood to be strobe lighting as a stage effect,” the statement read.

“There will still be rapidly changing and/or flashing lighting effects at times, albeit at a brightness, duration and rate that reduces the potential for seizures and other detrimental outcomes.”

Seems like they’re definitely catching up. It’s about bloody time other festivals and venues caught up, too.