Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Van Gogh Alive
We are always striving to provide the best facilities for our customers that require assistance and hope that this information will ensure you get the most out of your visit to Van Gogh Alive.
Here is a BSL guide detailing everything you need to know about your visit and our safety measures in place.
Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact our friendly Access advisors on 0121 689 1060, who can also help you with any further queries you may have. We look forward to welcoming you to Birmingham Hippodrome.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Van Gogh Alive?
Van Gogh Alive is not an art exhibition in the traditional sense. It is an immersive multimedia art experience which combines high definition projections of Van Gogh’s paintings with digital surround sound. Imagery and animations are projected at a scale that offers visitors the ability to see the details of the artist’s work like never before. More than 3,000 images transform each surface. However, there are no physical original works by Vincent Van Gogh on display.
Is the experience easily accessible?
The whole experience is set out over three floors. Both stepped access with guiding handrails and a lift are available. Assistance dogs are welcome throughout but please be aware that sound levels can be loud in the Sensory4 gallery.
What is the best way to see the experience?
We encourage you to move around freely to view the experience from different perspectives, always mindful of other visitors in the venue and maintaining social distancing. You are able to sit, stand on or interact with the floor screens, and you are encouraged to take photographs and video of any part of the experience (without flash) and share these as widely as you like, using #VanGoghAliveUK
Is there BSL accessible information about the exhibition?
We don’t have pre-recorded BSL accessible information about all of the exhibition, but there is an introductory information video delivered in BSL.
We also have several dedicated Deaf-led live tours of the exhibit delivered in BSL by a local visual artist at the following times:
Sun 27 Jun 12 noon, 1.30pm, 3.30pm
Tue 29 Jun 4pm
Accessibility for this exhibition includes audio description and there is also a plain text printed version of the audio description available if you would like to read it.
What is SENSORY4™?
Developed by Grande Exhibitions, SENSORY4™ is a unique technological system that combines multi-channel motion graphics, cinema quality surround sound and up to forty high-definition projectors to provide one of the most exciting multi-screen environments in the world.
Please be aware that there are areas of the exhibition that will be dark. This affects visual communication and for some people could affect your balance. Please inform staff if you need support or assistance.
I am Deaf and use lip reading as part of my communication – do I need to wear a mask?
The Charity Signhealth have created videos in BSL explaining the government’s rules on wearing a mask, which can be accessed here.
Face covering masks are required for all visitors aged 11 or over, in line with current government guidance, unless you have a specific exemption. The latest COVID-19 safe guidance is available on the Van Gogh Alive exhibition website. Face coverings can be removed when seated, and eating or drinking, within the cafe area. All face coverings must cover the mouth and nose, and fit securely round the side of the face.
A face visor is not a suitable face covering for Van Gogh Alive, unless worn by a customer who is exempt from wearing a face covering. Please note, that branded Van Gogh Alive masks are available to purchase if you wish, both on arrival and in the gift shop.
How much time do I need to see the experience?
Individual visit times will vary, but most visitors can anticipate spending 60 – 90 minutes. The main feature of the exhibition lasts approximately 45 minutes.
When should I arrive?
You should plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the time printed on your ticket. Please arrive within the entry times displayed on your ticket. Due to the popularity of the experience we may not be able to accommodate you if you arrive later than your ticket session.
Will there be staff on hand to assist me?
Visitor Service Assistants (VSAs) are able to assist you and will communicate using a scribble tablet if this is helpful to you. Tablets will be cleaned before and after use. If needed, Sign Live video access to a BSL interpreter is available to aid communication. If you would like to use this service, please ask to see the Duty Manager.
Lanyards will also be made available if you would like one, to help staff identify visitors who may require or prefer additional support.
How do I book a ticket? And are there any discounts for Deaf visitors?
We strongly recommend you book tickets in advance of your visit. To ensure a comfortable and safe visit for all visitors, access to the experience is by timed entry. Once inside, you can enjoy Van Gogh Alive at your leisure keeping mindful of COVID-aware considerations
If you do not require a companion to assist you, you are able to book online, where you can select the Access discount ticket price.
If you do require a companion, there are 2 for 1 tickets available, but these must be booked via Birmingham Hippodrome’s Access Line on 0121 689 1060 or by email email@example.com. You cannot make payment by email, but tickets can be reserved for you to pay at the box office in person.
Can I buy tickets on site or on the day?
Yes, there is a box office on site, at our Thorp Street entrance during opening hours of the exhibition. However, advanced booking is recommended as you will have a better chance of securing your preferred time slot.
How will my tickets be checked?
You will need to have the e-tickets you were issued when you booked with you on the day of your visit (not just your confirmation email). These e-tickets will be scanned to confirm your safe arrival, and to log you for the government required track and trace records. There will also be bag checks on arrival.
Please be aware that you will be required to present your e-ticket several times throughout your visit.
An NHS track and trace QR code is also available for you to scan if you have the app on your smart phone.
Can I access with a stroller or wheelchair?
Yes, the venue is suitable for strollers and is wheelchair accessible. Please contact the venue on or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions on accessibility.
Is the experience suitable for children?
Yes, the exhibition has been designed to appeal to all ages. There is no minimum age to visit the exhibition. Children under 5 years old are admitted FREE of charge when accompanied by an Adult. They still need a ticket so we can manage numbers safely.
Can I take photos and videos?
Yes, you are encouraged to take photos and videos (without flash) inside the experience. Please be considerate of other visitors when taking photos. When posting images and comments on social media, please use the hashtag #vangoghaliveuk so more people can see the exhibition through your eyes.
Please be advised that flash photography is not permitted inside the SENSORY4™ gallery.
Are food and drink available inside the experience? Am I allowed to bring my own?
Yes, there are opportunities to buy food and drink before and after the experience in the Café on Level 3. Unfortunately, no outside food or beverage will be allowed inside the venue.
Can I bring in bags? What are the prohibited items?
Bag checks will be carried out before you enter the experience. No cloakroom will be provided so all bags and items must be carried with you inside the exhibition. We therefore recommend bringing small, easy to carry bags
How will I know if there is a fire alarm/evacuation of the building while I am visiting?
In the event of an alarm, the main lights will be turned on and Staff will guide you to the nearest Fire exit.
Can my tickets be exchanged, modified or refunded?
All bookings are considered confirmed and final at the time they are made. Should any show date be impacted by COVID-19, tickets may be fully refunded or exchanged.
If you are self-isolating because of COVID-19, you will be eligible to transfer your ticket to another available date.
Is my ticket valid for another day?
Tickets are purchased for a specific time slot and will not be valid for entry on another day or time. This is required so we can ensure a limited number of visitors within the venue, and to offer you the most memorable and safe experience.
We cannot guarantee access to the experience outside the hours indicated on your ticket.