Showing posts with label performers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label performers. Show all posts

Saturday 31 July 2021

Edinburgh festivals and Portrait photography

It's marvellous that the Edinburgh festivals are returning for 2021, with 3 main pavilions. Tickets -

Each August Edina’s ancient, cobbled streets down from the castle and into the more formal Georgian new town become vibrantly alive with international visitors. Festivals offer a special and unique bringing together of diverse creatives – to collaborate and inspire each other.  


I travelled through Princes street Edinburgh to my secondary school at Granton beside the Firth of Forth, once a great port and centre of fishing. I remember the city’s excitement, fun and energy at the theatre, concert, comedy (with the footlights reviews) and art each August for the festivals. Growing up though I never realised the scale or world class significance of the festival to celebrate Europe and its international breath of cultural  impacts – from mime to ballet; folk to opera; poetry to pop; drums to pipes; harmony singing to orchestral depth; Hamlet or absurd comedies and hysterical satire!


The Edinburgh festivals and its large Fringe offers so much. The Mound art galleries of the old masters, the history of Enlightenment innovators to modern challengers. 


Scottish Festivals ... Seek to engage, challenge, entertain and to ensure quality of standard, musicianship, writing, diversity, colour and more.


**In 2008, I began seriously pursuing photography and started shooting at the Edinburgh festival. The high street was always a high point to take photos, while also very challenging with all its many distractions. I love its energy. I studied art at school, play piano and have a long standing interest in music, poetry, drama and art. 


After the throbbing high street, I always enjoy the walk down the mound and along George street to the calmer reflections of the Edinburgh International Book festival. I began taking photos here too, in the perfect, shaded environs of the posh Charlotte square. This was always a challenging and inspiring experience. Edinburgh has ever changing light, in August with all the seasons often in one day!

MY Photography website -


The EIBF is the world’s premier book festival begun in 1982. TICKETS -

Edinburgh in a Unesco city of literature and each August EIBF welcomes a wide variety of authors  from Scotland and internationally. I’ve met many famous faces here, which at first is a strange experience.  


I’d like to thank all those who’ve encouraged and inspired my work. 


Edinburgh Tattoo

street performer

The role of art is to challenge and provoke, to resist stagnation and to question complacency. All art , poetry, prose or painting, represents and interprets the world. Its purpose is to bring new perspectives. 

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Edinburgh festival 2019

2019 was the festivals 72nd year 
For the month of August Edinburgh’s population doubles in size, and every possible room and hall becomes a venue. Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is the perfect historic backdrop for the players to exhibit their talents. The weather in August may be changeable, but it is also just right. 

The main event is the comedy: and the international main festival, theatre plays, music concerts, dance, cabaret – from world class, to school and university amateurs. It offers an expanding platform for new talent. There is something here for everyone. Edinburgh is also just the right size to walk around the dramatic castle, old town and new town. Its worth taking time to explore Scottish history off the main tourist paths and down the Canongate. 

Many great writers have lived here - Alan Ramsay, Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart, Adam Ferguson, James Hutton, Henry MacKenzie, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Macall Smith, Ian Rankin.

Friday 31 August 2018

Edinburgh Festivals 2018!

The fields are golden, the sun getting lower and a chill begins in the evening air as the first leaves are starting to fall. 
 Its dark now late Sunday and the men are busy packing up the large tents on George street. We know the festival must end, and a normal and quieter Edinburgh return – but also the festival lifts us all higher for a short while, and makes the impossible possible, offers new horizons. 

EIF provides a glorious and golden end of summer bash each year celebrating the best of theatre, comedy, music, dance, art and much much more...Edinburgh offers a festival for all tastes – from the intellectual rigour of the book festival, its significant comedy festival, and extensive theatre.  

Under luminous skies, I entered with the book festival with a heady mix of anticipation, bolstered by the beaming exuberance , shared laughter and well rehearsed singers of the high street.  

The sometimes new and tacky mixes with the unique individual histories. Perhaps I might hope for more of the latter. Some worry Edina is turning into a Theme park and moving downmarket – do we want a Butlin’s image or to attract the more sophisticated traveller? 
Edina has a rich seam of authentic heritage - not only the deep stories of the dark rugged castle rock, but the majestic Georgian new town and the hidden alleyways below and beyond its Royal Mile. 

 There were 4.5 million ticket sales, second only to the Olympics – and this festival takes place every year; but the diversity means there is little TV coverage. From the grand Tattoo show on the castle esplanade,  the main international festival and the youthful Fringe shows and offers a platform for new theatre, 

Paris Riots 68, with Nael Ascherson
Yanis Varoufakis
Karl Ove Knaasgard
Michael Marra: Arrest This Moment
Gina Miller

**SHOWS that caught my attention
The Beggars Opera - The Kings
Mhairi Campbell, Auld Lang Syne, Storytelling centre
The Red Guitar - 
Midsummer - The Hub
Caledonian Soul - Queens hall
Ulster American - Traverse theatre

I managed a few shows, sadly not time for all.

Monday 14 September 2015

Edinburgh Fringe festival 2015

Last year Robin Williams died during the start of EF. Williams suffered  from severe depression and he committed suicide. He was one of the most respected actors and it was felt as a sad loss. This year at EF themes of depressions were explored by several shows. I have read that isolation in today's society leads to depressions also.

**I am on the train, it’s August again and I’m off to Edinburgh festival. Another year gone. It’s been hectic.  It is a balmy hot day which is good – perhaps we’ll have a late summer? There’s a beautiful still fluffy blue reflection on the lake as we head over. I browse through the festival literature.

EIF is such a carnival of the extremes – from the sublime to the ridiculous, the daring to the intellectual; great thinkers to the clowns. It provides a platform for new creatives; brings together the great and the good and encourages collaborations.

Does it all matter? What does culture and the arts mean for societies? A great big fat and resonating yes.

At EIBF; Edinburgh International book festival 2015
‘Around the world’ brochure and Trading Stories. ‘We would be a much poorer culture had those wayfarers not persisted in gazing beyond the next horizon.’
The centre for the festival action is the Royal mile that leads from the Edinburgh castle to Holyrood (crag and tail volcanic formation). Here you can see performers from many of the fringe shows. It can be quite manic!! Mind you if you enjoy crowds it is great fun. Take change to give the performers something for their efforts. This year I saw some rather gay Australians in Mohawk headdresses; a South African high school choir; Korean dancers; more.... I have only a limited time on the high street. 

Saturday 31 May 2014

Reality Bubble

I was googling for info online and found Bo Bruce, a finalist on The Voice UK
She said the BBC spent no money on promo by The Voice, by comparison to the money spent by ITV on its shows – such as X factor. That acts appearing on The Voice UK are likely to fail once the show comes to an end.

The finalist stated that the BBC has too many restrictions when it comes to promoting acts in comparison to other channels. Leanne Mitchell’s debut album only reached no 134 UK album chart, and her single 'Run To You' peaked at 45.
"They just put out a single and didn't really advertise the fact that it was out there and available to buy..Normally you would have a huge marketing campaign before a big release. But you can't do that when you have won The Voice."
"Being part of the BBC, they can't be seen to do that. They have far more restrictions. If you look at The X Factor, they are allowed to heavily promote an artist or a singer. Because of that, they almost always have at least one number one single."

"BBC producers are not able to take control of the winner's career in the same way Simon Cowell does for his shows. I'm really glad I didn't win because it meant I could take my time.  Personally, it is better to be runner-up as there's less pressure to have an instant hit." Danny O'Donoghue said: "That's not the fault of the BBC. you can take an artist like that and question their work ethic." 

The reality of course is that the BBC can't be seen to spend money on things like the media hype for a contestant ( the BBC has no revenues from advertising).

Entrants to these Tv show should view them as a platform or showcase. for some exposure. Reality shows are intense short-term spotlights and anyone searching for a longer term career in music should look for other opportunities to showcase – such as the slow burner approach online and those at the small venues.

These shows create a false bubble for young people's expectations and therefore it can often be hard to deal with let downs, and with some entrants being as young as sixteen. It is necessary to be aware of these limitations and have your eyes open to the artificial nature of these reality tv spotlights.

The slow down in sales of CDs has affected these shows with money now in the live shows and song royalties

Monday 24 September 2012

Edinburgh Festival 2012

It has been a strange Edinburgh festival this year. I’ve been so busy I’ve felt distracted/ detached from it all somewhat and I have less energy. I spend most of my time here at the Edinburgh Book Festival, more to follow. The next part of the saga that is ‘magical mystery tour’ of the Edinburgh trams is that the buses now detour to avoid the digging at Haymarket. The tram lines were started in 2008? and it is now years later and they are costing millions more that expected and are an embarrassment for the city. Did the people of the city get a say over it?  I think not.

 Everyone needs to be an artist in the babble of shows and posters that is the EIF and Fringe. It used to be about amateur student shows. Now it has become slick with stylized big productions and most young people go to the comedy shows. I heard that the new Summerhall venue is about what the festival used to be before it all became corporate, comedy and rubbish. 

**My Theme this year was Love. Love knows our hearts desires, our mirrors. There are voices of hope in a world often torn asunder and we are full of wonder… surely?  Tolstoy wrote of reverence, humility and love and he felt that the narrative was outside his control. I promise myself I need to write more.  

Where do stories come from and why? 
Whatever else love is, it is always a mystery.

Fireworks end each night to mark the finale of the Edinburgh Tattoo.