Edinburgh Festival should be held in Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness, expert says

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THE Edinburgh Festival should be held in Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness, according to an expert.

Paul Bush, one of Scotland’s leading events consultants, says he would like to see the popular festival broaden its reach ahead of the 70th anniversary in 2017.

He suggested shows could be staged across the country in a bid to “think outside the box” and “take more risks”.

And he has gone so far as to propose events be held at a new 2,250-capacity arena recently built at the luxury Gleneagles resort in Perthshire.

The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year
The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year

 

Bush, who is head of the national EventScotland agency, has been one of the key figures involved in staging events such as the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the MTV music awards.

Last week he issued a rallying call to the events industry in Scotland to “take more risks” over the next 10 years.

He said Edinburgh’s festivals were already leading the way when it came to “sharing product” by collaborating with other countries, pointing to forthcoming runs of the Tattoo in Australia and New Zealand.

“The festival directors are bringing in some of the best stuff in the world,” he said.

“The Edinburgh Festival is now a huge event, but why can’t it cascade into other parts of Scotland?

“Why can’t it be in Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling, Aberdeen and Inverness? We’ve got to think outside the box a bit.”

He added: “There’s a new multi-purpose indoor arena for conferences, exhibitions and events at Gleneagles.

“Part of the Edinburgh Festival could be held there.”

Bush explained that festivals and events were entering a period of great challenge where they would have to take more risks.

He said: “It is about finding different angles and it’s also going to be increasingly more important to be smarter in the way we work in partnership.

“Funding will be a real challenge that the Edinburgh festivals are going to have to face over the next five years.

“For me, 2017 is an important watershed for them as a celebration.”

Edinburgh Festival events have rarely been held outside the city. Veteran impresario Richard Demarco, who has attended the artistic celebration every year since its formation, has previously staged events on Inchcolm Island in the middle of the Firth of Forth.

North Berwick, in East Lothian, has also been running a “Fringe by the Sea” event in August for the past seven years.

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