‘What is the point in having a bandstand if it’s not used’ Readers react to calls to move Princes Street gigs

The Ross Bandstand useage has resulted in a lot of debate.
The Ross Bandstand useage has resulted in a lot of debate.
Have your say

We asked readers what they thought about the Cockburn Association’s plan to ban all concerts apart from the fireworks from Princes Street Gardens? Would they miss the chance to see the likes of Bastille, Tom Jones and Paloma Faith in the centre of Edinburgh? Could the gigs be staged elsewhere? The response was overwhelming – and this is what you had to
say . . .

Woodstock Taylor: Stage the bigger gigs at the Castle and Murrayfield or Ingliston. And have free gigs in the Gardens featuring local and less high-profile acts. Twenty years ago the bandstand hosted a fantastic parade of Fringe acts during the Festival, and before that there was a stage organised by Radio 2 (which I helped to programme for a year or two). All worked well and didn’t stop anyone from going for a walk in the park. There’s an opportunity here to provide something marvellous and socially inclusive – all year round if desired – that would benefit residents and visitors alike. Somehow I doubt it’ll happen again though.

Gillian Robertson: It’s great that these gigs are on. There is usually very little going on in Edinburgh as there are no decent venues. Edinburgh is meant to be the capital, after all, not Glasgow. What’s the point in there being a bandstand if it’s never used?

READ MORE: Calls to move Ross Bandstand concerts to Leith Links

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Heather Henderson: The bandstand was createdfor people to enjoy listening to music whilst in the public park – and they’re not using the band stand: there’s a huge stage been put up, loads of portaloos, eating and drinking stalls and the grass around the flower beds has all been covered with hessian so no-one will stand on it and damage the flowers. Then the public are locked out of the park because of a concert and then they have their beautiful views of the Castle blocked off. I think you’ll find that it’s not a bandstand-type show in the park but a huge concert.

Gillian Robertson: I don’t see how all thats a big deal to be honest. I’ll have a good think about it all while I’m enjoying Kasabian tonight.

Richard Elam: The heritage group is stuck in the past and unable to see the bigger picture of the prestige and revenue events such as those held in Princes Street Gardens bring to the city. According to the logic of the heritage group, the Ross Bandstand replacement project would be as well being scrapped.

Stewart Howie: Why not bring the Leith Theatre into full use as a venue? Edinburgh’s weather is hardly suited for a full-time outside venue and all the investment that will be required. Occasional events is all it is suited for.

Claire Gorgulho: What an absolute bunch of party poopers! These concerts bring the Gardens back to life and what a backdrop for a concert.

Liz Rennie: There was a report back in February saying that the new director of the Playhouse wanted to start having bands back playing. The Festival Theatre also has bands playing and you have the Corn Exchange, the Liquid Rooms, Queen’s Hall and the Usher Hall. Agreed we do need bigger places for bands to play as well as the smaller venues, but there needs to be a compromise in regard to concerts in Princes Street Gardens. Otherwise why is Ross Bandstand there any more, if people are complaining when security measures are put in place?

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Emma Philp: It’s amazing that these gigs are on and bringing big names like Kasabian, Tom Jones and Bastille to Edinburgh. The big events are always in Glasgow so it’s great to see the Capital embracing the love for an outdoor gig. We should be supporting this not banning it! I’ve been to the Summer Session in Edinburgh this year and they have been extremely well organised and run. I haven’t witnessed any trouble or heard of any. I hope the Summer Sessions return in 2019 and that more gigs will take place before then.

Craig Lumsdaine: If they want everything banned, shall we just flatten the bandstand and be done with it? Or will they object to that too?

Andy Brown: I think banning pop and rock gigs from the Gardens would be very short-sighted. If anything we should be using this area more for this kind of event, in a controlled way of course. And not just for major acts, local talent could be involved too. What other city has such a beautiful backdrop to enjoy live performances at? However, it should be done with consideration for the environment and park users. Other cities around the world use their parks to stage events – Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow, New York’s Central Park, Rome, Paris, Pompeii etc.

David Baird: Why are we so in thrall to the heritage group in question? We need a proper debate, but the Gardens are for the people of Edinburgh not just heritage groups.

Grace Davidson: While I get that it is great that concerts are being held in the bandstand, I don’t agree that the concert promoters should be able to block a single foot of a public pavement to protect their profits. I don’t know how much they pay the council for the use of the Gardens but that is where their rights should end, with the Gardens. They should be able to block the veiw of the bandstand, but only for the time that the concert is on, not for days before it.

Nicola Reid: This is a unique venue with an outstanding backdrop – millions of cities around the world would love to have this facility on their doorstep. The Cockburn Association are trying to destroy the future growth and economic development of a city. Please let young people have a say in this. Whilst we live in what I think is the most wonderful city in the world it needs to benefit from the old and the new blending seamlessly together. We cannot stand still.

Lorraine Marshall: Why not use Inverleith Park? I’m sure an outside stage could be erected there for the summer with plenty of jobs for security staff.

Alan Inverarity: It doesn’t matter what we think. The new owners have already said there will be more paid for events in their Gardens. We’re giving the Gardens away to a hotel developer to do whatever he wants with them. Once Adam McVey and Cammy Day give them away we will never get them back. Inch by inch they will be developed.

Lois Pack: I am disgusted by the way this public place is being used for private concerts. Leave our Gardens alone, we don’t want Disneyland.

Cristina Roswell: It is an amazing background for the concerts, just let it be. People just love complaining in this city, if you ban the concert sthey will complain about something else, or about the city centre being dead because everything has been banned.

Billy McLelland: We can’t allow the minority to win. I went to concerts in the last week and they were amazing.

Brenda Barclay: So an average of three artists play once a year each in the Gardens or Castle and they want to ban it? Ian’t see that doing much damage to the historic sites – and I am a member of Historic Scotland

Owen Rafferty: Lets just shut the city down and all stay in bed – problem solved.

Jamie Headspeath: Everyone stop having fun now.