Euan McGrory: Music is overdue a starring role in Edinburgh’s festivals

Paloma Faith. Pic: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
Paloma Faith. Pic: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
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It has always been a little strange how low a profile music has in Edinburgh’s festivals.

Sure there are musicians performing all over the city in August, in church halls, pub cellars and classical concert halls, not forgetting the buskers on the Royal Mile. But the big name acts have, on the whole, been conspicuous by their absence. And the music has never had anything like the attention of, say, comedy or street theatre.

Of course it is the stand-ups and street entertainers who give the Fringe much of its character. There is surely though a place for more music. After all, the great beauty of the Fringe is surely the mind-blowing array of entertainment on offer at all hours of day and night. Star names like Paloma Faith will help attract a different audience to regular Fringe shows. With a series of big name concerts in the offing, the city centre promises to be absolutely bouncing this August.

That will inevitably fuel on-going concerns about the huge numbers of visitors that will descend on the city centre. It certainly puts the onus on Fringe organisers and the council to come up with ways of managing the vast crowds and dispersing them around a wider area. With careful management, though, this summer’s Festival could be one of the best yet.