Edinburgh should nurture musicians

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Regarding the declining 
Edinburgh music scene (your report, 17 February), what Summerhall has decided to do by hosting a series of gigs by up and coming artists with the proviso that a local band is on the bill is a step in the right direction.

For many years Edinburgh has prided itself on being a world-class centre for culture, with its reputation built on the many festivals it hosts, which attract all types of 
artists. You would think it would make an ideal place for aspiring musicians, full of opportunities to develop, grow and reach an audience.

Despite Edinburgh’s rich cultural façade the music scene is in decline as a result, in part, of the council’s licensing policy and how it deals with noise complaints from residents. In terms of entertainment and the arts, Edinburgh has become a world-class importer of culture, which is shameful as there is an abundance of diverse and high quality local musical talent which doesn’t receive any support.

In fact, it has to struggle against the decline in the number of music venues.

In contrast, Glasgow City Council is in discussion with its musical community over plans to stage its own version of the famous South by Southwest festival held in Austin, Texas.

If the City of Edinburgh Council is really serious about helping turn around the fortunes of the city’s music scene it should put its money where its mouth is and sponsor a month-long series of showcase gigs for local bands and artists during August, using the festival platform to show off the fine music which, when given the chance, comes out of Edinburgh.

This should be free to the public and promoted by the council as part of the festival programme.

After all, it is council tax paid by Edinburgh residents that goes to prop up the council’s money-making activities at festival time, so it seems only fair that the resident 
artistic community should also benefit from the city’s standing as an entertainment capital.

Julian Vaughan

Tonegarden Studios

Edinburgh