Edinburgh Fringe set for Scottish music celebration

The Scottish music celebration will form part of the Fringe. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Scottish music celebration will form part of the Fringe. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A FIVE-DAY celebration of Scottish music is to be held at the height of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe under a major funding deal for the event.

Bands, composers, promoters and individual musicians will be able to take advantage of a £100,000 cash pot to help stage shows this summer.

The Scottish Government confirmed last year that its Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund had been boosted by £225,000 a year, from £2 million, which has been shared out among the capital’s 12 main festivals.

The musical showcase will feature a major expansion of the Fringe’s existing “Made in Scotland” strand, which has seen home-grown theatre and dance productions benefit from ­almost half a million pounds over the past four years.

Shows in last year’s Made in Scotland attracted more than 200 promoters and festival organisers from 15 overseas countries, according to official figures. Music shows made up 13 per cent of the programme at last year’s Fringe.

Potential applicants for the new musical cash pot are being urged to stage shows between 14 and 18 August. Venue promoters who regularly stage music events, such as the Acoustic Music Centre and the Queen’s Hall, will be able to apply.

Arts agency Creative Scotland has drawn up the plans for the fund following talks with the Fringe.

Caroline Parkinson, director of creative development, said the fund was aimed at helping “Scottish-based” musicians take the next step on to the international platform provided by the Fringe.

She added: “The tremendous success enjoyed so far by artists working in theatre and dance who have been supported by the Made in Scotland programme shows the potential opportunities now open to those working in music.”

Anita Clark, portfolio manager for festivals at Creative Scotland, added: “The new fund is open to all genres of music.

“One of the issues previously was that most theatre or dance shows have a longer run than music ones, but it was felt that encouraging applicants to put on shows over the course of a five-day period was a way to ­address this.”

Fringe chief executive Kath Mainland said: “Made in Scotland ensures Scottish artists can take full advantage of the significant international opportunity provided by the Fringe. Expanding the Made in Scotland programme to include music is a natural progression.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “It makes strong economic sense to ensure Scotland’s own exceptional talent is at the centre of the Fringe and our artists are given opportunities to benefit.”