Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, will be running autism friendly performances for the first time ever at its 2022 event, entitled Together, which marks its return to Faskally Wood.
Big, noisy queues, lots of people on site and crowds can be overwhelming for people with autism and can spoil the magical Enchanted Forest experience. With more than one in one hundred autistic people in Scotland, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has introduced autism friendly performances. These will take place at the start of designated show nights, so visitors with autism will be first on site, with almost exclusive access to the event while they are there.
The autism friendly performances also allow visitors to be right at the start of the bus queues before any crowds have started to build up. These sessions will have a smaller capacity than other show times so that less people are going out to the site, meaning they can avoid the hustle and bustle of a normal busy night at the Enchanted Forest.
The Enchanted Forest has long been a supporter of autism charities, with Scottish Autism being one of the official event charities in 2015, receiving a donation of £2,500.
The Autism friendly departure times are:
- Wednesday 5 October at 6pm and 6.15pm
- Wednesday 12 October at 5.45pm and 6pm
- Wednesday 19 October at 5.30pm and 5.45pm
The move comes just a couple of years after the organisers introduced a special accessibility bus service for the event, designed to be used by visitors who have mobility difficulties, particular access needs, as well as disabled visitors. The Accessibility Bus has demonstrably improved access to the event for visitors of all abilities and ages.
Monique McArdle, event producer of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust and a mother of a child with autism, said:
“We are absolutely over the moon to be returning to Faskally Wood this autumn and our team are working very hard to create a truly original experience where people, young and old, can set their imaginations alight. After such as tough couple of years, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible and enable as many people as possible to enjoy the event to the fullest. As a supporter of Scottish Autism in the past and with many customers who bring children who have autism, we felt that it was time to create a space for those who find the hustle and bustle of a normal Enchanted Forest night a challenge. As a mother of an autistic child, I truly understand what it is like, and I am delighted we’re incorporating autism friendly performances in this year’s event, which truly reflects the Together theme.”
Charlene Tait, Deputy CEO at Scottish Autism, added:
“It is really welcome to see the team behind Scotland’s Enchanted Forest – a much-loved family event – taking these steps to make a number of their performances throughout October more inclusive of autistic people and their families.
“We work closely with a number of venues to ensure autistic people aren’t excluded from attending and enjoying performances and we call on more production companies to follow the lead of the Enchanted Forest so that more autistic people can lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.”
This year’s Enchanted Forest will run from 29 September – 30 October 2022 at Faskally Wood near Pitlochry. Over 80,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s event and, with over 50,000 tickets already sold, it’s looking like it will be a sold-out event once again. Tickets for the autism friendly performances are now on sale. For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk