Fairgrounds are typically too loud, too bright and to some, can be an unpleasant and overwhelming experience. But they don’t have to be.

Walking around the Gibraltar Fair between the hours of 7pm and 9pm proves just how much the newly introduced initiative by the Ministry for Equality is being welcomed by so many people, young and old.

There wasn’t a feeling that something was not right. On the contrary, it felt ‘right’, and it felt comfortable. Not one comment on how the loud and ear-splitting music was being missed, or of how the usually bright flashing lights were not bright and flashing.  No complaints were heard when those alarming end-of-the-ride sirens were replaced by simple whistles. Toddlers were not startled by the sudden horns, and the elderly were able to fondly watch their great-grandchildren enjoy the rides without the paralysing sensory overload around them.

This initiative not only helps those with Sensory Processing Disorders, those with visual and hearing impairments, autism, or photo-sensitive epilepsy, it also makes it possible for families to enjoy such an event together, as has been evident these past few nights. In addition, it helps minimise our exposure to loud noises, an important point raised in the Hearing Loss Prevention Campaign held yesterday at the Piazza.

Hats off to the Govt for introducing this necessary initiative, one which could maybe be revised and extended to 3 hours, allowing families to also enjoy a relaxing meal in the pavilion without having to worry their ‘quiet’ time will soon be over.