New Stockbridge festival aims to boost profile of upmarket district

Stockfest organisers JoJo Hernandez, Rhona Johnston, Tannis Dodd and Jane Ali-Knight
Stockfest organisers JoJo Hernandez, Rhona Johnston, Tannis Dodd and Jane Ali-Knight
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A POP-UP restaurant run by residents and a speakeasy-style fashion show will be among the highlights of a new festival celebrating Stockbridge.

The first Stockfest will run for a week later this month and aims to increase the area’s profile and boost local businesses.

Stockbridge traders, community groups, schools and residents have all worked together to deliver the festival’s first programme, which includes an opening community ceilidh, Stock Up – an upcycling and vintage flea market – guided walks and a closing party curated by the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Tannis Dodd, owner of delicatessen Herbie of Edinburgh, came up with the idea for the festival with fellow Stockbridge traders Rhona Johnston of Kiss the Fish, JoJo Hernandez of Lilies & Dreams and Stockbridge resident Jane Ali-Knight.

Ms Dodd, 50, who lives in Inverleith, said: “Times have been tough for independent businesses over the last few years and the festival aims to boost morale, celebrate the successes and increase the profile of Stockbridge as a place to shop, dine and live.”

Meanwhile Dr Ali-Knight, 46, who is the director of the Edinburgh Institute for Festivals, Events and Tourism at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “One of the aims of the festival is to try and bring more people into the area but also to celebrate what it has. It’s one of few areas that still has lots of independent shops and a 
community feel.”

She added: “The fashion show will be very vintage and all blacked out when you go inside. The clothes will be from independent stores in 
Stockbridge.”

The pop-up restaurant will see residents Iain Delworth and Dawn Campbell opening up their home on Raeburn Street to provide a three-course meal for eight guests on three evenings throughout the week-long festival.

Stockfest Theatre is another key strand of the programme and will include two productions by internet arts 
company, the So and So Arts Club. Acclaimed Edinburgh-based children’s theatre company Wee Stories will also present A Dream on Midsummer’s Night at St Stephen’s Centre as part of its latest 
touring programme.

Producer Verity Leigh said: “With this slimmed-down, but not dumbed-down version of the play, Wee Stories aim to show young people that Shakespeare isn’t boring. We use Shakespeare’s language, just less of it, and find ways to make the story of confusion and mistaken identity crystal clear for young audiences.”

Stockfest will run at venues in and around Stockbridge from September 15 to 22.

Tickets, which range in price from £6 to £15, are available at www.stockfestedinburgh.com.