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daine Opens Up On Performing With A Disability, Resurfacing An Important Conversation Around Accessibility

24 August 2022 | 9:25 am | Parry Tritsiniotis

"i've heard comments along the lines of "they're so fucked up/wasted," which i normally wouldn't care to address, but i think this conversation is valuable to a large group of people."

Future global rock star daine has always empowered their audience to be the truest version of themselves. Their audience is a collective of global youth and they provide a space for them to confide in a hyperreal world where they can escape from the harsh realities of the modern world that surrounds them. Earlier this week they shared a deeply personal statement on performing and their artistry in light of their disability.

Artists with disability are not seen or spoken about in the discourse of the international music scene. Accessibility remains a huge issue in the Australian music scene as so often non-disabled people are at the forefront of the organisation and curation of accessibility at events. Venues and live music events are often un-accessible for many artists (who are encouraged not to speak out by society) as well as punters. Rather than challenging and confronting these issues and shortcomings head on, the conversation often peters out to, "it is what it is."

"as i have started playing more shows my performance style has received curiosity as to why i stumble, have heavy backing track, struggle to breathe/stand, have a visible tremor in both hands, as well as laying, crawling on the stage etc. i've heard comments along the lines of "they're so fucked up/wasted," which i normally wouldn't care to address, but i think this conversation is valuable to a large group of people (even though i find it hard to talk about). i hope this starts a conversation about disability in the music industry and potentially help someone feel less alone in their experience in some capacity - and less weak, as i struggle with internalised ableist rhetoric of feeling 'weak' for being sick," the statement opens.

They then go on to share they, "have ehler's danlos (EDS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), both conditions strongly linked to autism. i'm prone to fainting so staying low to the ground on stage makes me feel safer, and it looks cool sometimes anyway? POTs is a blood pressure disorder so i'm unable to stand for long periods of time, or exert movement without being really dizzy, my vasoconstricting medications are helpful for the short period of time that i'm on stage but the dizziness and tachycardia still effect me which is why i appear unable to walk straight. my condition has only been getting worse and worse the past 2 years so shows have only been getting harder.

"with EDS, i have a lot of exercise limitation due to reduced respiratory muscle function, arthritis in most of my joints and chronic nerve pain. having my studio vocals turned up in the backing track during my performances allows me to take breaks to breathe, or have a moment if i'm in a lot of pain, while still delivering the whole song & giving the crowd the fullest experience possible. travelling (flying) and the physical exertion required to perform are considered risky by my specialist but i take as much precaution looking after myself before and after shows as i can. at the end of the day, it still hurts a lot. the pain/fatigue during + after is intense, even though i'm used to daily chronic pain.

"i seem somewhat fully capable in the 30-40min i'm on stage, and i am so grateful that i can do that, but it takes everything out of me and it takes days to recover. it's worth it. i love playing shows more than anything. engaging with anyone that enjoys the music is what gives purpose to my life. the joy i feel on stage is able to get me through it. artists should feel no shame in adjusting their performance style and execution to fit their abilities."

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Daine closes the statement with a call of support to their fans stating that they have, "met multiple listeners with the same conditions, and always have paracetamol, ibuprofen, spare chairs, salt tablets and electrolytes on hand for anyone who needs it. if you're coming to a show require any special accoms please reach out to me in my comments/dm's prior and ill try to make sure that you can enjoy the show safely and comfortably."