your report that the Edinburgh International Festival has been overstating its attendance figures (19 October) comes as no surprise to me.
Every year I have pointed out how the Festival director Jonathan Mills’ programmes, particularly for opera and music, have been more concerned with shocking than entertaining the audiences.
Every year he has claimed increases in attendances despite the fact that many of us have witnessed half-empty houses.
When I asked for detailed figures for concert halls he refused them on the grounds that the Festival was a private company and therefore wasn’t covered by the Freedom of Information Act, despite getting £5 million pounds of public money.
Mr Mills, thankfully, is going in 2014 and the Festival is currently searching for a new director.
I hope it can find one more in tune with Scots cultural life – maybe even a Scot and one who can remember the words of Benjamin Britten, that the first duty of a festival is to be festive!
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Friday 24 May 2013
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