It’s the season for sharing and goodwill, so we’re sharing our sensory backpacks with a few of our festive friends: Edinburgh’s Christmas and Drake Music Scotland.

We introduced the backpacks as a way of making the Fringe more enjoyable for people who might find it overwhelming, including autistic children and adults. Each backpack contains items to help manage sensory overload such as ear defenders, fidget toys and stress relievers. The free-to-borrow backpacks have been a big success at the Fringe – we loaned them out nearly 90 times over the course of August 2019 – so we’re delighted to make them available for use in a similarly busy environment.

Drake Music Scotland is using the backpacks as part of their Diversions concert at the Queen's Hall on Thursday 12 December. The Hebrides Ensemble will join Drake's musicians, performing pieces including a world premiere by autistic composer Ben Lunn.

Edinburgh's Christmas is loaning out backpacks throughout the festive period – you can collect them from the Edinburgh’s Christmas ticket offices at these locations:

  • in front of the National Galleries of Scotland’s lower level, near Santa Land
  • in the Southside area of East Princes Street Gardens, near Market Street
  • beside the Scott Monument.

Find out more about the Fringe Society’s access projects