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There’s No Edinburgh in the Festival

Bonnie Prince Bob explains why the Edinburgh Festival has nothing to do with Edinburgh.

Brought to you by the Citizen project.

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  1. squigglypen says:

    Dreadful. Haven’t been in Edinburgh for years. What a disaster for the locals. ..an’ all ‘for a bag o’ siller’
    This is a weegie talking..always proud of Edinburgh..so medieval and historical…
    Glad I live in Glasgow..( don’t bring your ‘Festival’ here…)
    Empathy for you..but don’t have an answer for you.
    Excellent video…those long hair dyed blondes stuffing their glaikit faces while obese guys in floral baggy shorts lumber
    about looking at what..do they know? probably that Outlander crap has something to do with it…….aaaaaaagh!
    I’ll light a candle for ye.

    1. Morris says:

      The video was made by a glaikit long haired dyed blonde with half a brain; The EDINBURGH Festival brings a LOT more than one commercial month.

      1. Not sure what relevance the length of the film-makers hair is?

        What does the festival bring?

        Can you imagine another international arts festival that over 70 years hadn’t accrued a national venue for the arts, significant funding for local projects and community arts, subsidised or free entry for Edinburgh kids, or an infrastructure of inclusion and a strategy for sustainability?

        The festival has none of this.

        1. Morris says:

          The ‘Long hair’ statement was in reference to squigglypen’s “long hair dyed blondes” post
          Which would have been obvious if you didn’t go in to conversations so blinkered; ie if you actually READ the posts.

          Unbelievably you ask “What does the festival bring?”
          For one thing it brings world fame AND respect TWELVE MONTHS of the year !!

          Why does Bonnie Prince Bob take us to the outlying schemes and state the Festival has F*ck all to do with the people of Edinburgh ?
          Does he feel swearing will make his point true ?
          Many people from these outlying areas actually attend the EDINBURGH Festival AND the Fringe – I’m one of them !
          And many Edinburgh people live in the Centre of Edinburgh and are involved daily.
          As a student I stayed in the center of Edinburgh – we used to help build seating in makeshift theatres in exchange for free tickets (free entrance)
          There are also many Council houses On The High street – Bob the Blogger didn’t have to go to the schemes.

          Most, not all, of the people I know LOVE being involved with the Festival
          Only one person I know, who lives on the High Street – ‘doesn’t like the noise’ – but, even she enjoys the shows during the day.

          The Festival is Definitely NOT perfect but I’m willing to BET that you, who don’t even read others opinions could do no better
          … I read you asking about a national venue for the arts and confess that I may not fully understand that question (please expand)
          … I believe that the Usher Hall serves that function and, certainly in the Fringe, Ad Hoc Venues are part of the fun

          … over Twelve months, the EDINBURGH Festival’s it’s contribution is HUGE !!

          1. World fame and respect. Wow.

            Everything is awesome!

  2. Liz Summerfield says:

    Subtitle it! Some of us have hearing loss!

  3. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    A good challenging piece.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Very soon after the initial festival, Hamish Henderson and others established the Edinburgh People’s Festival to try to do the kinds of things which Citizen Bob is trying to do.

    Sadly, Edinburgh is but one of many ‘characterful’ cities, such as Venice, Barcelona which are colonised by continually changing transient populations, while people who actually live in these cities – or hope to – are pushed further and further out the the physical fringes and even beyond, while the much lauded ‘revenue’ does not go much near the cities and their people.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      Alisdair, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that the Edinburgh People’s Festival is still alive and well – just. Reborn in 2002 to commemorate the passing of EPF founder Hamish Henderson it still produces the odd, oddball event, but not during ‘the Festival’.

  4. Jim Gourlay says:

    Why does it say “Video unavailable”?

    1. Dont know Jim – looks fine here?

  5. Alex says:

    This is one man’s take.

    As someone who lives in centre of town, I like the festivals. You can choose to join in or not; to drink the overpriced booze or not; eat a lobster or an expensive flapjack from a pop-up stall, or not. You don’t need to go to the Royal Mile to watch licenced street performers when further form the centre unlicensed performances are plentiful. The Free Fringe is growing every year as performers move to business model that removes the big venues from skimming their profits.

    What I do agree with is how to ensure some of the money flowing from the tourists and local is diverted to those who need it. How do we prevent the hollowing out of the Old/New Towns as short term lets price out longer term rentals or owner occupation? The Scottish Government and Edinburgh Council are taking so long in the introduction of the Transient Visitor Levy. Which, if set at a decent level, would reduce some of this demand and provide the council with funds.

    1. Morris says:

      Well said

  6. A Armstrong says:

    He is telling it as it is and it’s starting to happen everywhere in Scotkand Skye being another example.

  7. Michael says:

    Would banning buy-to-let mortgages, along with legislating that those who own more than three properties (for example!) in Scotland have to sell of their excess properties, over a (for example!) three year grace period, start to revrese the erosion of Edinburgh’s social fabric? The idea being to turn the large portion of our housing stock that has been transformed into investment vehicles, back to being “homes”!

  8. Douglas says:

    This how Robert Garioch cried it back in his day in “Embro To The Ploy” (damn the fools who have let the Scots leid die in our schools and universities. What a loss…)

    In simmer, whan aa sorts foregether
    in Embro to the ploy,
    folk seek out friens to hae a blether,
    or faes they’d fain annoy;
    smorit wi British Railways’ reek
    frae Glesca or Glen Roy
    or Wick, they come to hae a week
    of cultivated joy
    or three
    In Embro to the Ploy.

    Americans wi routh of dollars,
    wha drink our whisky neat,
    wi Sasunachs and Oxford Scholars
    are eydent for the treat
    of music sedulously high-tie
    at thirty-bob a seat;
    Wop opera performed in Eyetie
    to them’s richt up their street
    they say
    in Embro to the ploy.

    Furthgangan Embro folk come hame
    for three weeks in the year,
    and find Auld Reekie no the same,
    fu sturrit in a steir.
    The stane-faced biggins whaur they froze
    and suppit puirshous lear
    of cultural cauld-kale and brose
    see cantraips unco queer
    thae days
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The tartan tred wad gar ye lauch;
    nae problem is owre teuch.
    Your surname needna end in –och;
    they’ll cleik ye up the cleuch.
    A puckle dollar bill will aye
    preive Hiram Teufelsdröckh
    a septary of Clan McKay
    it’s maybe richt eneuch,
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The Auld High Schule, whaur mony a skelp
    of triple-tonguit tawse
    has gien a heist-up and a help
    towards Doctorates of Laws,
    nou hears, for Ramsay’s cantie rhyme,
    loud pawmies of applause
    frae folk that pey a pund a time
    to sit on wudden raws
    gey hard
    in Embro to the ploy

    The haly kirk’s Assembly-haa
    nou fairly coups the creel
    wi Lindsay’s Three Estatis, braw
    devices of the Deil.
    About our heids the satire stots
    like hailstanes till we reel;
    the bawrs are in auld-farrant Scots,
    it’s maybe jist as weill,
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The Epworth Haa wi wonder did
    behold a pipers’ bicker;
    wi hadarid and hindarid
    the air gat thick and thicker.
    Cumha na Cloinne pleyed on strings
    torments a piper quicker
    to get his dander up, by jings,
    than thirty u.p. liquor,
    hooch aye!
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The Northern British Embro Whigs
    that stayed in Charlotte Square,
    they fairly wad hae tined their wigs
    to see the Stuarts there,
    the bleeding Earl of Moray and aa
    weill-pentit and gey bare;
    Our Queen and Princess, buskit braw,
    enjoyed the hale affair
    (see Press)
    in Embro to the ploy.

    Whan day’s anomalies are cled
    in decent shades of nicht,
    the Castle is transmogrified
    by braw electric licht.
    The toure that bields the Bruce’s croun
    presents an unco sight
    mair sib to Wardour Street nor Scone
    wae’s me for Scotland’s micht,
    says I
    in Embro to the ploy.

    A happening, incident, or splore
    affrontit them that saw
    a thing they’d never seen afore –
    in the McEwan Haa:
    a lassie in a wheelie-chair
    wi naething on at aa;
    jist like my luck! I wasna there,
    it’s no the thing ava,
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The Café Royal and Abbotsford
    are filled wi orra folk
    whas stock-in-trade’s the screivit word,
    or twicet-screivit joke.
    Brains, weak or strang, in heavy beer,
    or ordinary, soak.
    Quo yin: this yill is aafie dear,
    I hae nae clinks in poke
    nor fauldan-money,
    in Embro to the ploy.

    The auld Assembly-rooms, whaur Scott
    foregethert wi his fiers,
    nou see a gey kenspeckle lot
    ablow the chandeliers.
    Til Embro drouths the Festival Club
    a richt godsend appears;
    it’s something new to find a pub
    that gaes on serving beers
    eftir hours
    in Embro to the ploy.

    Jist pitten-out, the drucken mobs
    frae howffs in Potterraw,
    fleean, to hob-nob wi the Nobs,
    ran to this Music Haa.
    Register Rachel, Cougait Kate,
    Nae-neb Nellie and aa
    stauchert about amang the Great,
    what fun! I never saw
    the like,
    in Embro to the ploy.

    They toddle hame doun lit-up streets
    filled wi synthetic joy;
    aweill, the year brings few sic treats
    and muckle to annoy.
    There’s monie hartsom braw high-jinks
    mixed up in this alloy
    in simmer, whan aa sorts foregether
    in Embro to the ploy.

  9. DF says:

    A thought provoking video but very one sided. Knocking the festivals or Edinburgh festivals, (yes there is more than one), has become a great unifier of the moaning Minnie’s who, if they didn’t have the festivals, would be uniting in another comfort zone of moaning about something else.

    The festivals, both August and Christmas/New Year, do have issues and problems around the massive influx of people, the big businesses that dominate, etc, but they are also extremely enjoyable for many locals as well as the large number of visitors. The problems associated with unlicensed accommodation (air bnb) and a city centre more and more dominated by a transient student population are very serious and need to be tackled in order that a real community of Edinburgh people can be revived in the city centre. The festivals are part of this problem but I don’t think they are the fundamental root of the problem.

    1. Michael says:

      What do you see as the fundamental problem/s?

      I agree that BPB is taking a particularly cynical stance. And as someone who was raised in the city centre, and lived here, on and off my whole adult life, there are things I enjoy about The Fringe. But I’m finding more and more each year, that one month of heady bonanza is out weighed by 11 months of feeling sad and angry that the community that has been my home, no longer feels like somewhere that I belong. Its a hollowed out place. It feels like a place ever under the hawkish eyes of investors and letting agents focused on extracting the maximum profits that students, tourists and working people will bare.

      I don’t think this transformation of Edinburgh, into an investors playground, would have been possible without easy access to speculative credit in the form of buy-to-let mortgages!

    2. The festival (s) are part of wider social problems in the housing crisis, overtourism, and the growth economy it is true. But they exacerbate and accelerate these problems.

    3. J Galt says:

      Revive a real community in Edinburgh City Centre?

      As BPB would say you have to be f*****g joking!

      It’s gone and it would take a bloody revolution to bring it back.

  10. Mungo says:

    Bollocks !!! I’m a taxi driver in Edinburgh. The festival is my bonanza time! Typical the so called socialist want to prevent me, a working class man, from making some welcome extra cash.

    1. Thanks Mungo – i’m not sure you’ve really engaged with the idea that it might be about issues beyond you making money?

      1. Morris says:

        Mungo’s point is valid
        Your comment is patronising
        The video may contain slivers of truth but I as an Edinburgh man, love the EDINBURGH Festival.

        Edinburgh is a great city without the festival but, despite some undoubted commercial exploitation, The EDINBURGH Festival brings a lot to the city; 12 months a year.

        The Video is very negative; and pointless

    2. Wul says:


      What you’ve basically said is “if it makes money, it’s good”.

      What are your chances, as “a working class man”, of owning ( or renting) a house or flat in central Edinburgh?

      What’s your kid’s chances of owning land in Edinburgh and having a well-paid, secure, full-time job in the city?

      1. Mungo Armstrong says:

        I do own a very nice flat in Edinburgh thanks very much. I bought and sold and bought and sold like every one else?

  11. Morris says:

    Bella Caledonia Editor; Posted; 8th August 2019 at 9:03 pm

    World fame and respect. Wow.
    Everything is awesome!

    BUT has Blocked a Reply on that post – so here it is
    18 seconds into the video all I see is families enjoying themselves.

    Blinkered Bob states, without any referenced facts – “The EDINBURGH Festival is a spectacular excercise in Lies, Hype & Profiteering”
    His language at 42 seconds won’t be repeated in my post but it shows the level of objectivty is ZERO !

    What has upset this insignificant bairn so much ?

    I’ve followed BC since, before September 2014 ..
    … I haven’t agreed with ALL of your articles but they, at least, had some substance and purpose

    THIS article, however, is beyond insignificant, it’s logic and lack of substantiating facts reminds me of a Nawbags mentality ….
    …. it’s easy to criticise ANYTHING
    …. try to be constructive, even if you HAVE to criticise, reference some facts (figures)

    Am I actually talking to a clown who calls himself Bonnie Prince Bob ?
    I must be off ma heid :p

    1. I havent blocked anything, why would I?

      Try to imagine you were part of a live critical culture. Its difficult I know.

      You want facts and figures?

      There’s some figures in the Fair Fringe Report:


      1. Morris says:

        It IS, Still, Blocked (It shows no Reply button)

        No matter, I managed to post, thanks

        I Looked at your Fair Fringe link and I back it – if people are being paid poorly then it’s wrong
        In my time helping in the Fringe it was fun and Voluntary (Free entrance etc) – see earlier post
        BUT, I agree with supporting people who do that for a living, so I signed the Petion.

        If Bonnie Bobby had stated THAT in his Foul mouthed video it would have had some substance …
        … but he didn’t
        … his language was that off a bairn throwin his rattle oot o’ the pram

        His Oblique references to Lies, Hype & Profiteering are unsubstantiated anywhere, even in your link
        His language is a Disgrace – Really NOT how Scots (Edinburgers) should portray themselves.

        His presentation is arrogant, without substance.
        He’s entitled to an Opinion, like anyone, but Standing outside the Ferryboat mouthing obscenities gives NO Substance to his rant.

        Yes, offer opinions OR State, substantiated facts ….
        …. make us Think
        … Don’t make us embarrassed with lowlife language.

        I REALLY hope I’m NOT conversing with Bobby boy 🙁

        1. Morris says:

          It’s getting late; I have to get off
          BUT, I couldn’t help wondering, in your earlier post
          – Bella Caledonia Editor; Posted; 8th August 2019 at 9:03 pm

          You state, sarcastically ….
          “World fame and respect. Wow.
          Everything is awesome!”

          Do you REALLY not believe that the EDINBURGH Festival is World famous ?
          And that it brings Respect to the City ?

          I think ^ The Above ^ is beyond dispute
          If it CAN be run better, lets look at practical solutions please.

          Bin the Video

          1. Certainly the festival is famous worldwide.

            I don’t think the city needs respect, I think it needs a housing policy, a cultural strategy and funding and the festival undermines both.

            The video is great and won’t be binned – its the subject of more media coverage tomorrow as tens of thousands of people agree with it and think it speaks for them.

        2. You’re not conversing with Bonnie Prince Bob but the editor of this magazine (?)
          You seem obsessed with his language?

          1. Morris says:

            Good morning,
            Yes Bonnie Bob’s language offends me in a few ways and it detracts greatly from the argument you’re trying to make.
            If a presenter doesn’t have the intellect to promote a point of view without trash talk foul language, then his credibility is greatly diminished;
            it’s a disgusting video without substance.
            I’m Very disappointed that BC, who I once respected, is championing this garbage.

          2. Oh well Morris, this is the 21C and this isnt the BBC. 30k people have viewed the film in the past few days and because of media interest many more will. The vast response is very very positive with many people saying it expresses their own problems and issues

          3. Jo says:

            I think the video makes some valid points but I absolutely deplore the guy’s language. It’s vile. I think it’s a real shame that it’s now considered just fine to speak like that, fashionable, cool, trendy…or whatever. I don’t agree. A filthy mouth is still a filthy mouth as far as I’m concerned.

          4. Isla says:

            I found the language offensive and was surprised that Bella Caledonia had decided to air it! I am sure there are economic problems with the Edinburgh Festival (it is called the Edinburgh Festival because it is held in Edinburgh, by the way) but why not write an article explaining what these problems are for the people of Edinburgh. So many people obtain massive enjoyment from the festival with people coming from all over the world. We should be proud of it.
            Anyway it has resulted in quite a lot of discussion on this site which is good. However please let’s have an article explaining the problems in detail!!

  12. Bob says:

    This Mchavering tourist got a very basic wrong. The Edindurgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe are two separate entities. The EIF is very much Edinburgh born by its very name and nature. The staff, venues and seasonal technicians are a vast majority local. The EIF had helped spread a diaspora of the arts, and brought it to our corner in a way rarely seen around the world. This erse has no concept other than self.

    1. Morris says:

      I’m not sure who the tourist is, but I was wondering why the video is tagged as both Festival and Fringe ….
      … AND, when trying to justify why it’s not Edinburgh’s FESTIVAL, BC’s editor gave a link to the FRINGE’S problems.

      BC’s crediblity has gone down the plughole with this article imho 🙁

      1. Stef says:

        Morrris. You have far too much time on yiur hands, son. Late night comments then up early to have another rant? Have you tried meditation and de-caff coffee?

        1. Morris says:

          Lol, good idea Stef, thanks :p

      2. You asked for facts and figures – I gave you facts and figures about exploitation at the festival. Sorry if these facts annoy you. They can be pesky things. Why dont you try reading the report then responding to some of the issues it raises?

        1. Morris says:

          Mr Editor, I’m NOT complaining about you giving facts ….
          …. the ones you gave were informative

          You say “I gave you facts and figures about exploitation at the festival”,
          WHEN, The facts (and Link) you gave were about the FRINGE.

          I mention this because, Angry Bob, a couple of posts ^Up^ states, quite rightly, that the FRINGE and The EDINBURGH International Festival are two separate entities …..
          …. is your argument, and that of the Vile Video, that the EDINBURGH Festival should not contain the prefix Edinburgh and you’re justifying it by giving facts on the FRINGE ??
          …. Or is The Fringe not Edinburgh either ?

          1. In terms of work practices and endless perpetual growth the Fringe is far worse than the official festival (paradoxically).

            In terms of cultural and social alienation I think the ‘festivals’ are all one and the same.

            The Edinburgh Festival has very little to do with Edinburgh.

  13. Robert Gunn says:

    PLEASE ask me about the £16K we lost on producing a show – while the council, the venue, Edinburgh Uni, and the “Venue Owners” lined their pockets.

    Just have a look at the setup: an anointed ex-Edinburgh Uni Chancellor , Tim O’Shea, now runs the Fringe Society. Go to companies house, look up the annual reports, look at the For_profit subsidiaries that feed the so-called “charities” and it’s all there – in black and white.

    Look at the “BIGGER BETTER!” fallacies: If you have a show and only offer 10 tickets to be sold at the “Official” Fringe box office, and THREE sell, you can still call yourself “A SELLOUT!”

    Look at how a show must GUARANTEE the profits of the venue – while they rake it in off unpaid or low-wage staff.

    Look at how the likes of the Book Festival claims “Charity” but pays its anointed year-round staff handsomely, and functions off the for-profit sale of books.

    The whole thing is a LIE.

    1. Mark says:

      Perhaps a citizens’ jury about the Festival’s future would be good. There are many competing interests in this.

      Non-financial interests prevailed in 1947 with the festival having an aim to ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ by bringing people and artists together from around the world.

      A significant challenge for any small, local, independent production and local residents in 2019 is that the Fringe is now dominated by a very small group of businesses i.e. the University of Edinburgh, the Fringe Society, and rental subsidiaries such as Pleasance, George Square and properties south of Royal Mile in August. It is increasingly a business consortium with levels of interconnected governance and personal relationships that indicate little apparent room in the debate for social and environmental concerns. Consortium entities do not pay for the externalities quoted by the film maker. Their dominance gives them maybe 75% and 85% of the turnover by some measures.

      This consortium can then make more profit, as they have privileged and monopolistic access to funds such as UK Government financial grants. Other small local fringe players cannot do this. This reinforces inequalities in the festival itself. The UK Government recently gave £ 7,600,000.00 to University of Edinburgh to shape their monopoly further over the festival, and maybe to subsidise the festival management in a Brexit year. It has given nothing directly to the local performers.

      Citizens and visitors question the commoditisation of Edinburgh as a city. Do the UK Government, Council and the University businesses now dominate the ” festival of culture ” as there’s no genuine input from performers, artists, creatives and the public to the way it’s run ? Is it a ” festival of landlords ” ?

      The University enjoys boasting how much money it extracts from the Festival as the landlord. It states clearly it has no interest in arts and culture except the rent and profit. It proclaims to its shareholders and website readers –
      ” The University of Edinburgh’s main connection to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is via venue rental as we are the largest landlord for the Fringe. ”

      The £ 7,600,000 UK grant to the University’s business consortium is not about festival arts, human spirit and culture, it’s for science and more future financial profits.

      Anthony Alderson, who runs the Pleasance, one of the largest and longest running venues, believes there needs to be a “study of the fringe in granular detail to itemise where all the money ends up”. This could help citizens to decide whether to support it in a jury, but the £ 7,600,000 is sadly not available to Scotland’s secondary or drama schools to encourage local talent. It’s all for the profit seeking University consortium.

      Other commentators suggest a different approach, and a suitably funded citizens’ jury may have similar or different views.
      ” What’s the alternative? Only to pack up shop and accept, as Field suggests, that 72 years has been a damned good run and perhaps, in a changing world, “the era of the mega-festival is over”. ” [ Andy Field, co-artistic director of Forest Fringe ]

      It’s not clear whether the fringe is finished, but the University’s rental profit and subsidies for the business consortium is one of the prevailing narratives now. With these directions causing lots of debate among residents and visitors, what about a citizens’ jury to debate the evidence ?

  14. Morris says:

    I give up
    Thanks for Allowing some free speech at least
    But I can’t, in conscience, follow anyone who ‘stamps their feet’ and repeats the same drivel about The EDINBURGH Festival over and over
    – I’m sure ye’re Bonnie bob, ‘A foul mouthed schemey on a mission’ 🙁


    1. I’m not Bob, but you’re line about ‘a foul mouthed schemey’ is noted. Bye.

      1. Allan Thomson says:

        As should be the line regarding the allowance of free speech. Free as in unrestricted, even to “schemeys” . A sector from whence emerged much talent.

      2. J Galt says:

        As one myself I think the correct spelling is “Schemie”.

        I’m with BPB, in my 22 years living in Edinburgh, like most sensible people I avoided the Fringe like the plague – except the fireworks – that’s a good show I’ll give them that.

        Wall to wall talentless yahs – it’s something more to be embarrassed about than proud of!

  15. Malcolm Fraser says:

    Everything is clearly not “awesome”. We know there is a huge amount of work to do in achieving a Transient Visitor Tax and ringfencing it for community arts and other projects, controlling AirBnB by Planning, reintroducing the idea of social housing including in the centre of the city, improving access and movement and local empowerment and generally tackling the scourge of inequality. Equally everything is not shit; in particular what is not shit is people of many nations and places wanting to be here, and bringing us themselves, their obvious love of our city and their art and enthusiasm – and, yes, their money too. In this age of divisive rhetoric I’m distressed that what I thought was our welcoming city sometimes seems to be reveling in a sour, insular two-fingers to students, tourists, the arts and their money. We do need to rebalance the city, but we do not need to be left alone in some dour Calvinist gloom.

    1. Thanks Malcolm – yes there is a need for appreciation of some of that its true. Everything is not shit, but quite a lot is and after 70 years and endless denial and rejection of any criticism peoples anger and frustration has built up over time. The reason students – or rather the university is being brought into play is the disatrous impact of Edinburgh University on communities such as Leith where accommodation to finance the university has an impact.

      We need to rebalance the city but we also need to have a clearer picture of where power lies and who is cashing in. This isnt Calvinist gloom and if you look at the Citizen project over the year you will see positive action as well as polemic and provocation.

      1. Malcolm Fraser says:

        Mike, what is the difference between the disastrous impact of students upon communities and the disastrous impact of immigrants, Mexicans, suchlike? And quite how are they disastrous? They mingle, walk to shops, use the local bars and music venues. They bring youth and energy to communities and we should cherish them. Yes, our shitty governments have structured things so this is often the only fundable form of housing, whereas we need to turbocharge social forms; but, even at its worst, student housing moves them out of traditional stairs, releasing these for alternatives. Please stop othering good people we should welcome.

        1. I’m not othering anyone and I welcome international students to Edinburgh and to Scotland.

          There is however a serious issue about the reach and strategy of the university and its impact on development in the city.

          This is tangible and well-proven and is about our housing and educational strategies.

          This is well known, no?

          1. Malcolm Fraser says:

            The University is currently the city’s greatest commercial success. The Festival next. These are opportunities, that need tuned, to spread their benefits widely. Not vilification and, yes, othering.

          2. So you are completely unaware of the complexities of the effects of the university buying up land and properties across the city?

            I find that difficult to believe.

          3. J Galt says:

            The University may find itself not quite so “commercially successful” if the US – China standoff gets serious and the racket of peddling degrees to thousands of Chinese cash customers comes to an end!

          4. Malcolm Fraser says:

            Of course I’m aware, and am knockin ma pan oot lobbying Council and Government to empower communities and change. I’m also aware of how a Chinese student coming to study or a Latvian backpacker coming to the Festival might feel viewing your site and I feel ashamed of us.

  16. Peter says:

    If you can’t watch the video because you get a “Video unavailable” message then try this.

    (1) In Firefox browser right click on the video and select “Copy video url”
    (2) In a new browser tab right-click in the address-box and select “Paste and Go”. You will be directed to Youtube (where the copy of the video is actually hosted) and you can watch it there.
    (3) If you’re not using Firefox then just do whatever procedure your browser uses to achieve the above.

    If you can’t be bothered doing the above then just go here: https://youtu.be/Ex5aY7AZ4Ug

  17. McDuff says:

    There is nothing Scottish about the festival its been highjacked by others. Tell me i`m wrong.

  18. David Gow says:

    Pure Spartism. Similar stuff written in the 1970s, including by David Leigh and myself in the Scotsman, Scottish International etc. The Festival and the 1 percent are not coterminous. BTW: has yer man asked the people of Pilton what they think or does he just assume the right to speak for them? All. And Muirhouse etc etc

  19. ajt Renton says:

    There’s plenty of real concerns about tourism and the damage it can do to communeties. There’s social problems in Edinburgh and all of Scotland that we have to be shamed into addressing. Poverty and inequality are worse than ever, and we have to get on it. But this is a hate-filled, ignorant rant. Nothing here for anyone who cares.
    Sad that BC has sponsored it.

    1. David kinnaird says:

      Sorry but I didn’t view it as a ‘hate filled rant’ I saw someone saying things EXACTLY as I feel. furthermore, anyone I have shared the video with has said they feel the same way and that the guy is totally correct. He swears , so what? He makes his point,. I thought it was a refreshing dose of the truth.
      Obviously you are just one of these people who can’t handle it when confronted by it.
      Well done all involved!
      David Kinnaird

    1. Morris says:

      Excellent article Rosalind
      Your article is informed and entertaining.
      I loved the experiences you shared, of the entertainment and the off the cuff moments too.
      That’s the spirit of the EDINBURGH Festival – Thank you.

      What a refreshing counter to the rant of that vile video ….
      …. you didn’t need foul language – just facts !

      1. Isla says:

        I agree–what’s the point of a rant without facts!

  20. Tommy Lusk says:

    Excellent video!

    1. Now Now says:

      Free speech will always be opinionated.
      I believe the points made in the video are valid.
      Personality and character should be put aside.
      Edinburgh is a big city, a divided city, not just a
      town centre with New & Old Town credibility
      or cultural relevance. The corporate finance
      who drive Edinburgh’s Festival’s focus merely
      on kudos & equity… everywhere in the world.
      If these Festival’s go through a re-brand, which
      I agree they should, they will still bring lobster
      and the rest of the fluff. In the same way that
      they dropped the “German Market” name at
      Christmas time, perhaps because of cultural
      appropriation, then I’m sure if you change the
      names of The Festival’s… the same issues will remain.
      I agree with the sentiment of the video post:
      include Edinburgh Art & Artist’s, make it
      affordable and accessible for locals and our
      children, and stop claiming that they are
      Edinburgh’s Festivals.
      Incidentally, UNESCO takes care of a large
      part of our international profile as a city.

  21. Arboreal Agenda says:

    I always thought it was an international festival that takes place in Edinburgh, not a festival of Edinburgh. The clue is in the word ‘international’. Some of the problems highlighted in the video are valid and by no means peculiar to Edinburgh or Scotland but like a lot of comments I’ve read this year on this topic, the bigotry against ‘tourists’ (read foreigners, and especially, anyone from ‘London’ – a cipher for the English), is little different in tone and intent to what you read in the Daily Mail. There is clear dislike at best, and hatred at worst, for people, ‘foreigners’, who simply come to enjoy the festival. As a reaction to the real problems such events bring, it is of the worst kind.

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