by Chris Conde
Have you ever wondered what a sign language interpretation of a rap song would sound like?
In 2013 a video of SA native and sign language interpreter Amber Gallego interpreting A$AP Rocky’s “Fuckin’ Problems” at Lollapalooza went viral after it was uploaded to Youtube. Though Gallego has been interpreting at concerts for over a 10 years, the video brought some awareness to the issues of music accessibility within the deaf and hard of hearing communities. Since then, she has appeared on stage interpreting for artists like Snoop Dogg and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few.
Researchers at Gallaudet University, a private university for the education of the Deaf and hard of hearing, claim that Texas has the second largest deaf community in the U.S. and on Saturday, May 20, the first ever deaf-accessible music fest in San Antonio will take place at The Settlement. Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival will feature interpreters, including Gallego, sub bass back packs, plus a visual light show and LED dance floor that will sync to the music performances.
Aid The Silent, the folks behind the fest, was founded by Miss San Antonio, Emma Faye Rudkin and started the event as a way to “unite the hard-of-hearing and deaf community with the hearing world through music and art,” according to the festival's website. Festival goers of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances will be able to enjoy a deaf-accessible concert as well as dozens of craft booths and food.
Slated to headline the festival is pop singer-songwriter Ben Rector who, with with his 2015 album Brand New, has been turning heads with his feel-good indie-twinged pop rock jams.