Comment: Trying to silence the Festival fireworks would be daft

The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert ends the Festival season with a bang
The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert ends the Festival season with a bang
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the suggestion of Edinburgh adopting so-called silent fireworks in future probably had a lot of people checking their calendars to see if it was actually April 1.

If it sounds like a spoof, then it is partly down to the fact the name they have been given is slightly misleading - they should be called quieter fireworks rather than silent ones. But if you thought the idea was a joke when it was raised this week then you only had to listen to the response to know that for many it is a very serious issue. Everyone knows fireworks can be terrifying for pets but the distress they can cause to people with dementia for instance has been little thought about.

With fireworks now part of so many events, Bonfire Night, the Festival Fireworks Concert, Hogmanay, the Tattoo, the Diwali Festival of Light, and so on, it is no wonder they are becoming a popular bugbear.

The idea of muted fireworks sounds like an ideal solution, but event organisers say spectacular pyrotechnics like those at Hogamanay and the Festival fireworks can’t really be done quietly.

These are world-class events enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people who live in the Capital as well as similar numbers of tourists. The fireworks above the Castle are the main reason that images of Edinburgh are beamed around the world each year on December 31, helping promote the city and make our Hogamanay celebrations worth an estimated £42 million to the Capital.

There is certainly a case for reviewing the growing number of firework events and looking at ways they might be made less disruptive to neighbours without spoiling the fun. But curtailing such fantastic events as the Festival and Hogamanay fireworks - which come once a year for a relatively short time - would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.