Following the successful introduction of our sensory backpack scheme during last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we’re increasing the number of locations where the backpacks can be picked up at this year’s festival.

The free-to-borrow backpacks contain items designed to make the Fringe as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for autistic people and anyone who might feel a bit overwhelmed by the Fringe.

Each backpack (available in small and large sizes) contains a fidget toy, water bottle, stress reliever, earplugs or defenders and a list of relaxed performances at the Fringe. The backpacks are loaned out on a first-come, first-served basis and are available from the following locations:

  • Fringe Shop, 180 High Street
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street
  • Pleasance Dome, 5 Bristo Place
  • Dancebase, 14 – 16 Grassmarket
  • Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, 204 Rose Street
  • Fringe Shop, Waverley Station

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SENSORY BACKPACKS

We are grateful for the funding from Edinburgh Tourism Action Group through Festivals Tourism Innovation Fund, which supports our sensory backpacks.

More ways the Fringe supports autistic people

Before you arrive, search for relaxed performances

Lots of Fringe shows have specific days where they stage relaxed performances – ie performances that keep the needs of autistic audiences in mind. For example, there might be relaxed restrictions on moving around or interacting with performers, or info on any stressful factors such as flashing lights or heavily dialogue-driven scenes.

SEE THE FULL LIST OF FRINGE SHOWS WITH RELAXED PERFORMANCES

When you get here, use our access tickets service

Our Fringe Box Office staff are trained to handle enquiries and ticket bookings for anyone who might have additional access requirements, including people who may:

  • require specific accessibility information for individual venues
  • require extra assistance when at a venue
  • have specific seating requirements
  • require a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance
  • be unable to queue or require early access.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR ACCESS TICKETS SERVICE

Autism organisations we work with

Autism Initiatives and Lothian Autistic Society are just two of the organisations we’re working with as part of our Fringe Days Out project. Fringe Days Out is our way of saying thanks to the city of Edinburgh for having us, and to give residents who normally would not get the chance to experience the festival an opportunity to go. 

In addition, we’re also working with Lothian Autistic Society to plan an exciting week of Fringe activities for local autistic children, including circus workshops, Fringe performances and Street Events.

Help us out (and get rewarded for it)

The Fringe Days Out and sensory backpack schemes are made possible thanks to the generous support of our Friends. Sign up to become a Fringe Friend and not only will you be helping the Fringe Society’s charitable work – you’ll also get access to 2for1 ticket offers on a choice of thousands of shows, plus other exclusive perks.

BECOME A FRINGE FRIEND