Coldplay are giving Subpacs to deaf and hard of hearing fans at live shows

“We want our concerts to be accessible to everyone, and for everyone to have the best possible experience.”

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Chiaki Nozu / Getty Images

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Coldplay are giving deaf and hard-of-hearing fans the chance to experience their music at live gigs, by giving out Subpacs at shows.

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A Subpac is a wearable subwoofer device that will strap to a user’s back – much like a vest – and respond to the music’s bass frequencies using tactile transducers and vibrotactile membranes, giving a more accurate feeling of the low frequencies.

As explained on CBS Mornings, the idea came to lead singer Chris Martin after his girlfriend, actor Dakota Johnson, bought him a Subpac as a Christmas present. Since May, the band has been supplying Subpacs and providing multiple language interpreters at gigs in an effort to make them more inclusive for listeners of all abilities.

The band said in a tweet: “We want our concerts to be accessible to everyone, and for everyone to have the best possible experience.”

Another initiative the band are taking is providing sensory bags along with mobile sensory refuge stations for those with sensory sensitivities. For guests who are blind or have low vision, there are also touch tours before shows.

Coldplay aren’t the only live act to promote the use of Subpacs. In 2020, Deadmau5 launched a custom Subpac M2, featuring a red and blue design underneath the producer’s ‘mau5head’ logo. 100% of the proceeds from the design go to charities StudioFeed, Black Table Arts and the Maria Batlle Foundation.

Subpacs have also been handed out to guests at the BBC Proms recently. Finneas, when playing with sister Billie Eilish, has also been spotted wearing a Subpac when playing live shows.


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