Europe’s largest funfair goes autism friendly this festive season

Credit: The Irn Bru Carnival

The Irn Bru Carnival, based in Glasgow’s city centre, is Europe’s largest indoor funfair set to run two autism friendly sessions.

For the second year in a row, the funfair has announced hour-long sessions dedicated to people with sensory issues and people on the autism spectrum.


Set to be held on December 31, from 11am – 12pm, and January 8, from 4pm – 5pm, the carnival will be turning down lights, lowering or turning off music, and running rides at a slower pace.

Similarly, general entry ticket holders will not be allowed access to the carnival at this time, ensuring the venue will be quieter, too.

The move is yet another in a string of events, shops, and public centres becoming more autism aware and accessible.

Becoming more accessible has also been made possible with the help of the National Autistic Society Scotland (NAS) to allow a more inclusive atmosphere at the carnival, which is being held at Glasgow’s SEC.


Nick Ward, national director at NAS , said: “We know that two thirds of autistic people in Scotland feel socially isolated – but we also know that small adjustments can often make a big difference, meaning they can access and enjoy the places that many of us take for granted.

“Autistic people and their families want the opportunity to enjoy the carnival experience just like everyone else. But many find the crowds, bright flashing lights and loud music overwhelming.

“By introducing autism friendly sessions with slower paced rides and quieter environment, The Irn Bru Carnival is improving accessibility and ensuring it is accessible for autistic people and their families.

“I hope that other organisations will be encouraged to follow their lead and help make Scotland a more autism-friendly nation.”

Greg Cherry, managing director of QD Events, organiser of The Irn Bru Carnival, added: “We want everyone to enjoy the carnival, and believe it is important to invest the time and make sure these sessions are available to those who require them.

“Last year was a success and we look forward to seeing everyone having fun again this year.”

To find out more about The Irn Bru Carnival or to book your tickets for the autism sessions, visit their website here.

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