Meadows Festival 2019 to go ahead after cancellation fears - here’s what’s on

The Meadows Festival will run for the 45th year today and tomorrow despite earlier fears it could be cancelled over an increased licence fee.

Saturday, 1st June 2019, 12:00 am
Updated Saturday, 1st June 2019, 1:00 am
People take part in yoga during the Meadows Festival. Pic: Greg Macvean

The festival line-up will include live music, shinty tournaments, a dog show, and the largest outdoor market in Scotland.

The volunteer-run event is open 10am-6pm today and 11am-6pm tomorrow, and is free to enter.

Highlights this year will include a new stage programmed, organised and managed exclusively by young people – the Totally Sound Futures Stage – which will feature nearly 50 different music acts over the two days. The Main Tonegarden Stage will host just 14 acts, whittled down by the programming team of volunteers from 250 applications.

The Main Stage lineup includes Smoking Jeffreys at 2pm today, Sad Society at 4pm today and John Edge & The Kings of Nowhere at 4pmtomorrow. Supa & Da Kryponites will follow as the final act of the festival at 5pm.

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Another stage area, Decagram, will feature alternative music acts as well as a bar by Tempest Brewing.

The festival’s sports area will host shinty taster sessions and swingball shinty throughout both days.

Tayforth will play Aberdour in two shinty showcase matches: a women’s showcase at 1pm and a men’s showcase at 2.30pm today.

The sports area will also feature a Rugbytots session at 2.15pm today and a kids’ football tournament at 2pm tomorrow.

The kids’ area, which is sponsored by the Centre for Open Learning, will run events including storytelling, crafts and workshops. C

Childrens’ entertainer Mr Boom will perform on both days at 5pm.

Other activities include a market with 170 stalls run by local market traders and a dog show run by Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

The dog show will take place at 12.30pm on both days, and dogs must be registered beforehand at £2 each. Prize categories include best OAP (dogs aged over eight years), most like owner and waggiest tail.

Co-ordinator Catriona Arends said: “I’m really excited. We’ve had input from so many volunteers across Edinburgh.

“You can really see the community spirit pulling together and it’s great to see local people coming down to try new things and get involved.”

The festival will go ahead despite fears last month that it could be cancelled due to a proposed increase in licence fee. Following a change to ward boundaries in 2017, the site of the festival moved from the Morningside Meadows Ward to the City Centre Ward.

This brought a £4,000 increase in licence fee for the weekend.

Festival organisers argued this would be affordable for a commercial organisation such as Underbelly, which runs several venues on the Meadows during the Fringe, but could cripple a community-run event organised by volunteers.

The proposed fee increase was scrapped after consultation, and the festival will go ahead as usual.

Arends said. “We’re really grateful for the support we received. Thanks to our amazing volunteers who went down to the council office and put forward our case, we were able to win that battle 5-4.”