Frequently Asked
Questions

Can I listen to Jon Hopkin’s soundtrack outside of the immersive experience?

The music is an integral part of Dreamachine, designed specifically by Jon Hopkins for the immersive experience. We have no immediate plans to release the music, but are exploring possibilities for this in the future. Please sign up to the mailing list if you’d like to be kept in the loop about future plans and opportunities to take part in the Dreamachine programme.

What if I’m late?

Please arrive at the venue at least ten minutes early to allow ample time to have your documents checked before entering the experience. Doors will open approximately 15 minutes before every scheduled session.

As this is a timed experience, late comers cannot be admitted. If you have not checked in by the start of the scheduled session time, your ticket will be released to the walk-up queue. If you still wish to attend Dreamachine, front of house staff will try and book you in for the next available session. This will be subject to availability, so a new booking can not be guaranteed.

Sometimes visitors will need to queue while waiting for the experience to begin. If queuing is not accessible for you, please speak to a member of staff on arrival and we can make alternative arrangements with you.

What is the Dreamachine experience?

The Dreamachine is an immersive experience with music and light, designed to be enjoyed with your eyes closed. You will be comfortably seated throughout the experience.

It is inspired by an extraordinary 1959 invention by artist Brion Gysin, described as the ‘first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed’. The 21st Century Dreamachine has been created by a team of leading minds in architecture, technology, music, neuroscience, and philosophy, including Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble and Grammy-nominated composer Jon Hopkins.

You’ll be able to experience Dreamachine in Edinburgh until 25 September 2022. All tickets to the Dreamachine are free.

The Dreamachine immersive experience is part of a wider Dreamachine programme exploring perception, illusion and the power of the mind. It is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.

What should I wear?

Shoes cannot be worn within the experience, so you’ll be asked to remove and store your shoes in the lockers provided before you enter. Please wear or bring socks with you.

If you are not able to remove your shoes for Access reasons, disposable shoe covers will be provided. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing. You’ll be sitting still for much of the experience, so we advise bringing a jumper to ensure you’re warm enough.

What will I need to show on arrival for entry?

Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your session time. When you arrive at the venue, you will need to show your ticket to the front of house staff to enter. If you are attending the High Sensory Dreamachine experience, you will also need to show proof you have completed a pre-booking form alongside personal identification. If you are aged 18-25 you must be able to provide photographic ID as proof of age. If you are over 25 you will only need to show proof of your name.

Can I come if I don’t have a ticket in advance?

Yes, you can come if you don’t have a ticket in advance and join our walk-up queue. 

Many Dreamachine sessions are sold out, but we often have people who can no longer attend. If ticket bookers do not show up for the start time of their session, their tickets will be released on a first-come-first-serve basis to people who have joined our walk-up queue. 

You can join the walk-up queue any time of day to try and get a ticket for the next available session by speaking to the box office at each venue. Morning slots tend to be quieter so the chance of getting a ticket is high.

The box office will allocate you a numbered walk-up ticket so you know your place in the line. You can choose to wait outside the venue or return 15 minutes before the next available session begins. If you do not get into the upcoming session, you can continue to wait for the following session. Sessions take place every 1 – 1.5 hours.

We cannot guarantee that you will be admitted but we encourage you to try your luck, especially for morning sessions.  

Please fill out the pre-booking form before coming.

Why can I only book one ticket at a time for the High Sensory experience?

Only one ticket can be booked per person for the High Sensory Dreamachine experience to ensure the tickets are fairly distributed and due to the requirement to complete a pre-booking form to ensure you select an experience that is suitable for you to attend. This form contains information about medical conditions or potential sensitivities that may be relevant to your participation and it must be completed by the individual ticket holder.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have queries regarding tickets or customer service please contact the box office.

Edinburgh – Edinburgh International Festival
dreamachine@eif.co.uk
+44 (0) 131 473 2000

If you have queries regarding the programme, accessibility or the experience, please contact dreamachine@collectiveact.co.uk.

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.

Is photography and filming allowed?

Photography and filming is not permitted inside the Dreamachine experience.

Is the experience accessible if I am blind or partially sighted?

Both the High Sensory Dreamachine experience and the Deep Listening experience are accessible to blind or partially sighted people. Audio Description and Screen Reading assistance will be provided. For more information, please visit our Access page.

Is the experience accessible if I am deaf or have hearing loss?

We offer a British Sign Language (BSL)-interpreted video to accompany all Dreamachine experiences. We also offer British Sign Language (BSL) guides. For more information, please view our Access page.

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 have sensory needs?

We have considered a range of sensory needs in the design of the experience. For more information, please view our Access page.

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.

What measures have you taken to make the experience accessible?

Dreamachine has been developed with extensive focus group research to ensure it is as inclusive and accessible as possible, including for wheelchair users, those who use mobility aids, blind and partially sighted people, and deaf and hard of hearing people, with staff on site available to guide your experience.

During our research and development, we have conducted extensive focus group research with blind and partially sighted groups, d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, those with physical and sensory access requirements and with relevant expert advisors. This research has informed both the design of our spaces and the experience itself, and has also led to the development of the Deep Listening Dreamachine experience to ensure Dreamachine is accessible to anyone 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. For more information about both experiences, please visit our Immersive Experience page.

If you would benefit from a relaxed environment, relaxed sessions are available. There is also a dedicated quiet area in the Reflection Space for participants who may need time away from the experience. Please visit our Access page for all information on our Access provisions.

There is no sensitive content to be aware of.

What will happen if a show is altered or cancelled?

If we have to alter or cancel any scheduled sessions due to events beyond our control, where possible, we will attempt to notify you by phone or email depending on the contact information you have provided. We will give as much notice as possible.

As we cannot guarantee we will be able to make contact with you, we advise that you check the website you booked your ticket through before travelling to the venue. If your event is rescheduled, all tickets will automatically be transferred wherever possible.

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.

How do I get there?

Dreamachine Edinburgh

Murrayfield Ice Rink
Riversdale Crescent
Edinburgh
EH12 5XN

Download directions here.

Please note there are currently road works taking place near Murrayfield Ice Rink which may cause your journey to take longer than usual, so please allow plenty of time to get to the venue.

 

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.

How do I book an accessible experience?

Please view our Access page for information on our access provision and how to book. If you would like to discuss the access provision you require in more detail, please contact the Box Office in your chosen location. Contact information can be found here.

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 children and young people attend?

Under 18s are not permitted to enter the Dreamachine immersive experience and there is no alternative provision on site or any waiting area at the venues.

If you cannot attend or 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.

Will toilets be accessible and gender neutral?

We have accessible and gender neutral toilets at every venue, you can find more information about our venues and their specific access facilities here.

Can I book a personal assistant or companion ticket?

If you require the assistance of a friend or helper in order to attend, you can book two tickets for the same session. For more information, please view our Access page.

Will you have a cloakroom/lockers?

At each venue there will be lockers provided for you to store your shoes and belongings before you enter the experience. Please note, we cannot provide space for large items, such as suitcases, that won’t fit in a locker, so we advise that you bring minimal personal belongings with you.

Lockers are 445mm(H) x 300mm(W) x 318mm(D).

Can I bring my guide or assistance dog?

We welcome guide and assistance dogs to the Dreamachine to ensure access for visitors who would not otherwise be able to attend and participate in the experience. For more information, please view our Access page.

How do I contact the Box Office?

If you have queries regarding tickets or customer service please contact the box office.

Edinburgh – EIF:
boxoffice@eif.co.uk
0131 473 2000
EIF website

If you have queries regarding the programme, accessibility or the experience, please contact dreamachine@collectiveact.co.uk.

Can I re-enter if I leave the experience?

If you leave the live experience at any time, it won’t be possible to re-enter. Toilet facilities and water will be available inside the venue and front of house staff will be able to assist you if you have any problems.

How do I book a ticket?

Tickets are free. To book a ticket for Dreamachine in Edinburgh please visit the Get Tickets page on our website. Walk up tickets are available at the venue. See our FAQ ‘Can I come if I don’t have a ticket in advance?’ for more information.

Can I take food and drink into the experience?

Food and drink is not permitted in the live Dreamachine experience, but water is available in the Reflection Space after the timed part of the experience.

Can I use my phone?

Due to the nature of the experience, we ask that you leave your mobile phone in the lockers provided. If you need to keep your phone on you for emergency reasons, the front of house staff will provide you with a signal blocking phone bag so that you can keep it with you. However, please note that you won’t be able to use it while in the Dreamachine experience. If you need to use your phone at any time, the front of house staff will be able to show you where you can do so. If you need to use your phone for Access reasons, just let one of our front of house staff know.

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.

How does the High Sensory experience work?

The rich inner journeys created by the High Sensory Dreamachine experience are linked to something known as ‘entrainment’ – gentle changes to brain activity created by synchronisation to flickering light, which affects activity in the visual areas of the brain. The frequency of the light provides a ‘beat’ for the rhythms of the brain, similar to the ‘alpha’ rhythm – a brain state normally associated with relaxation. This discovery was first made by the pioneering British neuroscientist Dr Grey Walter in the 1950s.

The question of exactly why flickering light gives rise to such vivid experiences is still unanswered. Our scientific team at the Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex, have been investigating this mystery for over a decade and exploring what it might reveal about the nature of consciousness. For a deeper dive into the subjects behind the Dreamachine, visit our Discover page.

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.

What is the Dreamachine experience?

The Dreamachine is an immersive experience with music and light, designed to be enjoyed with your eyes closed. You will be comfortably seated throughout the experience.

For the history of the project please visit our About page. 

How can I book multiple tickets?

For the High Sensory Dreamachine experience, only one ticket can be booked per person to ensure the tickets are fairly distributed and due to the requirement to complete a pre-booking form to ensure you select the experience that is suitable for you to attend. This form contains information about medical conditions or potential sensitivities that may be relevant to your participation and it must be completed by the individual ticket holder.

If you want to attend with friends or family, you will need to agree on the date and time to attend and book tickets closely together. If you have any problems with this, please call the Box Office for the relevant venue and they can support you.

For the Deep Listening experience, there is no requirement to complete a pre-booking form and you can book up to 4 free tickets per transaction.

Please note the experience is suitable for those aged 18 and older only. There is no provision for under 18s, and no waiting area available at the venues. If you cannot attend or 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.

How do I visit Dreamachine?

Dreamachine is now closed in London, Cardiff and Belfast but you can still visit the experience in Edinburgh until 25 September 2022. Please see our Immersive Experience page for more information. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you’re kept up to date with future Dreamachine events.

If you cannot attend or 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.

Who is it for?

Any adult aged 18 and over can take part in the Dreamachine 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. Before booking tickets, please complete our pre-booking form.

If you have any of these sensitivities we suggest you consider booking a Deep Listening experience, which is an immersive 360 degree surround sound audio experience with a gentle lightscape that does not contain fast flashing lights. If you are sensitive to loud music, ear defenders can be provided for both experiences.

The experience has been designed to be accessible to as many people as possible, including wheelchair users, those who use mobility aids, blind and partially sighted people, and d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, with staff on site available to guide your experience.

If you would benefit from a relaxed environment, alternative relaxed sessions are available. Please see our Access page for details of how to book.

How long does the experience last?

The full experience, including time in the Reflection Space, is between 90 – 120 minutes.

How much are tickets?

Tickets to Dreamachine are free. To attend, please book a timed ticket slot. Visit the Immersive Experience page to see where you can book tickets.

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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