Frequently Asked
Questions

Why do I need to fill a pre-booking form in?

The pre-booking form form contains information about medical conditions or sensitivities that may be relevant to your participation in the High Sensory Dreamachine experience.

The High Sensory Dreamachine experience uses fast flashing bright lights, known as strobe lighting, and loud music. Significant periods of fast flashing bright lights and/or the combination of both fast flashing light and loud music may in rare cases cause adverse reactions, including seizures, if you have existing sensitivities that may be triggered by these effects.

Entry to the High Sensory Dreamachine experience is only permitted if you have completed the pre-booking form in advance of your visit. If you are in doubt about whether you should participate, consider booking for the Deep Listening experience.

If you have any technical issues completing the form, please contact: dreamachine@collectiveact.co.uk.

Please note that we cannot provide any medical advice. If you have any questions around your personal circumstances or medical history, please consult your GP.

What if I don’t enjoy the experience or find it uncomfortable?

During the experience, you will be comfortably seated throughout. For many people, the effects of the lights and the music will generate colourful, kaleidoscopic visuals behind their closed eyes. The experience features 360 degree surround sound audio, and is designed to be an enjoyable inner journey that can be both relaxing and exhilarating.

If you do not enjoy the experience, you will have a number of options to pull back from it, or you can leave with ease at any time. Staff will be on site at all times and will be available to guide your experience, and offer assistance to anyone who might feel any level of discomfort.

What if I’m unwell on the day of my booked session?

Please do not attend Dreamachine if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of Covid-19. Contact the box office and they will do their best to rebook your tickets for an alternative date, subject to availability of tickets.

What is your approach to COVID-19 safety?

Collective Act, and all our partners, are committed to providing a safe and hygienic environment for audiences, in accordance with government guidelines. The event spaces are designed to be shared with others. All event spaces and high touch point areas will be cleaned, sanitised and ventilated regularly. Currently, face coverings are not required to be worn when you are seated in the Dreamachine, but we recommend you wear one before and after while you are in the venue. We strongly encourage you to take a lateral flow test before attending. Please do not visit Dreamachine if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

We will follow all government guidance in place at the time, so please check for any updated information before your visit.

Why can’t I attend the High Sensory experience?

The High Sensory Dreamachine experience uses fast flashing bright lights, known as strobe lighting, and loud music, and is not suitable for those who are pregnant or some people with epilepsy or other potential sensitivities to fast flashing lights and loud sounds.

Advice from expert consultants indicates that the effects used in the High Sensory experience could have the potential to trigger a seizure for some people with epilepsy, particularly photosensitive epilepsy.

Most people who develop photosensitive epilepsy are diagnosed by their late teens. For under 18s there is a higher risk of undiagnosed photosensitivity, which may lead to an adverse reaction. Due to the running schedule of the experience, and the fact we are running Deep Listening and High Sensory experiences concurrently, it is not possible for us to operate a flexible age limit and manage the necessary safeguarding of this across the experience. Therefore, to protect the wellbeing of our visitors and our staff, we can only admit adults aged 18 and over.

If you are over 18 and cannot attend the High Sensory Dreamachine experience due to possible sensitivities, please consider booking the Deep Listening experience, an immersive 360 degree surround sound audio experience with a gentle lightscape, that does not contain fast flashing lights.

If you are under 18, please see the Schools Programme and Discover sections of our website for more information on other ways you can get involved in our programme.

Why can’t under 18s visit the Deep Listening experience?

The Dreamachine experience has been designed for audiences aged 18 and over.

The High Sensory Dreamachine experience contains a significant amount of fast flashing bright light, known as strobe lighting, and loud music. Advice from expert consultants indicates that these effects used could have the potential to trigger a seizure in some people with epilepsy, particularly photosensitive epilepsy. Most people who develop photosensitive epilepsy are diagnosed by their late teens. For under 18s there is a higher risk of undiagnosed photosensitivity, which may lead to an adverse reaction.

Due to the running schedule of the experience, and the fact we are running Deep Listening and High Sensory experiences concurrently, it is not possible for us to operate a flexible age limit and manage the necessary safeguarding of this across the experience. Therefore, to protect the wellbeing of our visitors and our staff, we can only admit adults aged 18 and over.

Why is the High Sensory experience not recommended for all those with epilepsy, and not just those with photosensitive epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a relatively common condition that affects the brain. Over 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy. That’s about one in every 100 people. There are around 60 million people with epilepsy in the world. Up to 3% of people with epilepsy can have seizures that are triggered, particularly for under 18s, by flashing lights (called photosensitive epilepsy).

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding epilepsy and photosensitive epilepsy, and the condition is still an active and ongoing area of research. Most people with epilepsy do not have seizures triggered by flashing lights, but advice from expert consultants indicates that the combination of effects used in the High Sensory Dreamachine experience could have the potential to trigger a seizure for some people with epilepsy, and importantly, that the risk of an adverse reaction is increased if you have epilepsy. Therefore, to protect the wellbeing of our visitors and our staff, we can only admit adults who do not have epilepsy or any known sensitivity to flashing lights, loud sounds or high sensory environments.

We continue to consult with epilepsy advisors, including specialists from UCL and Stanford University Medical Center, to design and deliver the Dreamachine experience. As the project is one of the first times an experience of this nature has been realised on this scale, we are taking all necessary precautions to support our visitors and our staff. Dreamachine provides an opportunity for further research and discussion around epilepsy, and if you would like to contact us to discuss this, please get in touch.

We have designed two additional experiences to make the Dreamachine as accessible as possible, and to ensure those with epilepsy can take part and enjoy the experience. The Deep Listening Dreamachine experience is an immersive 360 degree surround sound audio experience, with a gentle lightscape that does not contain fast flashing lights. It has been designed and developed to ensure that Dreamachine is as accessible as possible to those who may have sensitivities to strobe lighting or high sensory environments. The Deep Listening Dreamachine experience has been designed and developed by the same creative team, and with the same rigour and artistic integrity as the High Sensory Dreamachine experience.

All Dreamachine experiences are also available as a Relaxed experience. This means a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, where you can freely enter and exit the live experience when needed. This is suitable for anyone who would benefit from a more informal setting.

Why is the High Sensory experience not suitable for under 18s?

The High Sensory Dreamachine experience contains a significant amount of fast flashing bright light, known as strobe lighting, and loud music. Advice from expert consultants indicates that these effects used could have the potential to trigger a seizure for some people with epilepsy, particularly photosensitive epilepsy. Most people who develop photosensitive epilepsy are diagnosed by their late teens. For under 18s there is a higher risk of undiagnosed photosensitivity, which may lead to an adverse reaction. Therefore, to protect the wellbeing of our visitors and our staff, we can only admit adults aged 18 and over.

Can the experience cause epilepsy?

The effects used in the Dreamachine experience cannot cause epilepsy. They can only trigger existing sensitivities, so all participants must complete a pre-booking form containing information about medical conditions or sensitivities that may be relevant to your participation, prior to attending the experience. It is possible that you may have some relevant sensitivities that you do not know about. If you are in doubt about whether you should participate, consider booking for the Deep Listening experience.

If you experience a seizure as a result of sensitivities that were pre-existing, but previously unknown to you, this may have wider implications for you. If you drive, one immediate effect of having a seizure is that you may have to stop driving for a certain period – this could be between 3 – 12 months. This is true for all types of seizures, and whether you have a diagnosis of epilepsy or not. This may have an impact on your life, or your ability to work/travel, particularly if you are considering joining the Armed Forces, or for anyone working as a commercial pilot or train driver. Some activities may be restricted for your safety while the reason for the seizure is assessed and diagnosed. For further information on the implications of having a seizure and living with epilepsy, we suggest you refer to the following sources:

NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/epilepsy/

If you are in doubt about whether you should participate, consider booking for the Deep Listening experience.

Drugs and alcohol policy

Drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited from the Dreamachine experience. To ensure you have the best experience possible do not consume drugs or alcohol in the 24 hours before your session. If we suspect you are under the influence of either when you arrive, you will not be admitted for your own safety.

I have a medical question from the pre-booking form, can you help?

If you have any questions around possible sensitivities, please note that we cannot provide any medical advice. If you are in doubt about whether you should participate in the High Sensory experience, consider booking for the Deep Listening experience. If you have any further questions around your personal circumstances or medical history, please consult your GP.

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