Chorus of dissent at plans to close Queen's Hall
MUSIC stars have joined the outcry over city council plans to close the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh.
Singer Eddi Reader, folk stars Phil Cunningham and Dougie Maclean, jazz musician Tommy Smith and Celtic group Capercaillie all called for the venue's future to be protected.
The organiser of the city's Hogmanay celebrations, Peter Irvine, also questioned the plan, which would see the South Clerk Street venue eventually replaced by a new waterfront concert hall. Doubts were also raised by the lord provost, Lesley Hinds, who chairs the board of the Edinburgh International Festival.
The venue's management is due to hold talks with council and Scottish Arts Council officials next week.
The two bodies together provide the Queen's Hall with funding of 150,000 a year. Under the council's plans, that could be stopped in three years.
The council and SAC are in talks with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra about building a new 1,200-capacity venue probably on the waterfront. The Assembly Rooms on George Street would be used as a temporary replacement for the Queen's Hall in three years' time until the new concert hall is complete.
Reader, who is playing at the venue later this month, said: "I've played in other venues in Edinburgh like the Usher Hall and the Festival Theatre, but the Queen's Hall is my kind of venue.
"It's a lovely intimate venue, it's really cosy because the audience are so close."
Maclean, who has been playing at the Queen's Hall for more than 20 years and this year has two Fringe shows there, said: "It's a brilliant place and one of my favourite venues anywhere in the world.
"These fantastic old venues are being closed down all over the country and being replaced with these fancy new venues, which often turn out to be soulless."
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
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