Andrew Eaton-Lewis: ‘I wonder if we now live in a time when we overthink our cultural choices’

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ON 1 January 2013, the organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are staging a one-day festival called Your Lucky Day. There’s a gig by Rachel Sermanni, a spoken word and music cabaret with Alan Bissett, William Letford and others, a New Year mumming play, Galoshins, and lots more.

The twist is that all these events are in secret locations – the only way to find them is to go to the National Museum of Scotland and roll a die. The number you roll will determine which event you end up at first.

For the past week or so I’ve been trying to figure out why this idea appeals to me so much. It may be partly because, as an arts journalist whose job it is to know what’s happening months in advance, I very rarely stumble across things by chance – so going to a secret venue and having no idea what I might find is a refreshing prospect.

But I don’t think it’s just because of what I do for a living. I wonder whether we now live at a time when we overthink our cultural choices. It is virtually impossible to go see a new film without being affected by the noise around it – the endless previews, reviews, trailers, trailers for trailers, the online chatter, the comparisions with other films. And how many people now buy music on impulse, knowing nothing about it except, say, a cool looking album cover? Isn’t it more tempting to Google the musician and have a sneak preview first?

As a new year’s resolution, I think I might try and quit what might be called “if you like this, try this” culture, in favour of “you never actually know what you like until you try it”. I’m thinking that trawling around some random Edinburgh locations might be a good start.

•  For more information on Your Lucky Day, visit