Edinburgh Castle is a music venue to rival the wonders of Classical Greece – Donald Anderson

Historic Environment Scotland might not be the most obvious patron of successful popular music events, but the castle concerts have become a national institution.

The audience gathers for a performance of Verdi's opera Nabucco at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens (Picture: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)
The audience gathers for a performance of Verdi's opera Nabucco at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens (Picture: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

The concerts take place before the Edinburgh Military Tattoo each year. The Tattoo is a phenomenal success that brings in even more tourism income than the official International Festival – though they are both equally important.

The castle concerts give Edinburgh one of the most spectacular music venues in the world. I have been a regular attendee since they began and was there for the mighty Deacon Blue on Saturday night.

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I have been a fan since an old workmate said back in the 1980s, “You need to hear this new song, it’s called Dignity”. I became an instant fan, and it was an instant classic.

The castle concerts have been going for more than 30 years and give Edinburgh what its doesn’t currently have, namely a world-class venue with a capacity of 8,500, which can be used to showcase the best in popular music.

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Athens has its Odeon of Herodes Atticus beside the Acropolis, which is regularly used for concerts, and there are concerts too at Epidaurus and Ephesus in Turkey.

Whilst these venues were built for concerts, I’d argue that Edinburgh is up there with them as one of the finest venues in the world.

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For more than 30 years the castle has ‘rocked’ too with some of the best concerts ever held in Scotland. Well done Historic Environment Scotland. Long may the castle concerts continue.