EDINBURGH’S summer festivals season is set to get its highest-profile curtain-raiser after BBC chiefs unveiled plans for a star-studded open-air concert.
Welsh diva Katherine Jenkins, soul icon Smokey Robinson, indie rockers the Kaiser Chiefs and operatic pop outfit Il Divo will all be appearing at the Edinburgh Castle event in mid-July.
The show, which will be staged on the castle esplanade and have a capacity of more than 8000, is being lined up by the BBC as part of its coverage of the Commonwealth Games, which will get underway in Glasgow just four days later.
The castle event will also feature singer-songwriter Paloma Faith, hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, American pop-rock outfit OneRepublic and English tenor Alfie Boe, as well as the BBC’s Scottish Symphony Orchestra, who will accompany many of the performances.
The event, highlights of which will be shown across the UK on BBC One, will coincide with the opening weekend of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the traditional curtain-raiser to the capital’s summer festivities.
It will be held the night before a huge open-air festivals carnival is held on Princes Street and Sir Tom Jones plays a concert at the castle esplanade himself.
The One Show presenter Alex Jones, who will host the BBC concert on Saturday 19 July, said: “I can’t imagine a better backdrop than Edinburgh. It is going to be a fantastic night for those coming along or watching at home.”
Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay, who will appearing alongside fellow Fringe favourite Bill Bailey on the night, added: “This is a really great event to get the party started for the Commonwealth Games. To get so many great artists on the one stage makes it very special. I hope that, not only the people of Edinburgh, but also the whole of the UK enjoy the show.”
The event’s executive producer, Guy Freeman, added: “We are delighted that such an exciting array of incredibly talented artists are coming together for what will undoubtedly be a magical night, at this iconic venue. With rock, pop, classical and comedy performances, it will be a great summer party, for everyone in the family to enjoy.”
More than 8000 tickets go on sale at 9am today. For Information on the concert and how to get tickets:- www.bbc.co.uk/edinburghcastle