Edinburgh residents should have been consulted about outdoor classical concerts – Helen Martin

It was logical that festivals and concerts, with fewer audiences than usual, would not be dominating the centre of the city and could be staged elsewhere.

By Helen Martin
Monday, 26th July 2021, 12:30 pm
The Edinburgh International Festival plans to create three pop-up outdoor venues across the city in August.
The Edinburgh International Festival plans to create three pop-up outdoor venues across the city in August.

It’s reasonable that schools and colleges which would be empty over the holiday period would offer a better location. But I believe most of us would have expected these sites would not be close to, or surrounded by, residents.

I do feel sorry for those living in Arboretum Road who will have to tolerate eight weeks of 40 classical concerts, with up to three shows a day, with thousands of people walking up and down their street day and night, because next to them is Edinburgh Academy Junior Schools playing fields where the performances are being staged.

As one resident explained, there’s limited parking, narrow pavements, not much public transport, children going to bed early, animals, elderly, and many others potentially badly affected by the noise.

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The council officers declared that Police Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency were the statutory consultees who could say yes or no, not the residents who weren’t told in advance of the issuing of the entertainment licence.

If it doesn’t cause them the trouble they expect, they might be happy for a repeat next year. If it does, then they should have the right to object to it in 2022.

And isn’t it reasonable and fair that the city council, the councillors and the officials should have some consideration and discussion with residents whose summer lives may be ruined for weeks?

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