Alan Cumming and KT Tunstall to launch Princes Street Gardens revamp campaign in New York

Scots stars Alan Cumming and KT Tunstall are to join forces at a glittering cabaret night to help create a new open-air concert arena in Edinburgh.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 12:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 1:35 pm
The new-look events arena in West Princes Street Gardens would replace the existing Ross Bandstand.

The pair will appear alongside Broadway actress Alexandra Silber at the Lincoln Center next month as part of the drive to overhaul West Princes Street Gardens.

The event is being staged by the Quaich Project, the public-private venture set up by the the city council and a charitable trust set up by a hotel developer offering to partly bankroll the revamp, which is expected to see a significant increase in the number of events staged in the historic gardens.

Six up-and-coming musicians and singers from Edinburgh will get the chance to compete for a place on the bill of the fundraiser.

Backers of The Quaich Project say it will create a "world class performance space" in West Princes Street Gardens.

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Cumming has been a supporter of the gardens project after agreeing to endorse plans by a consortium led by American architects Why, which won an international design competition two years ago.

Fundraising efforts are expected to continue for the next three years to help realise the ambitions of the council and the Ross Development Trust.

The new arena, which is named after Scotland’s traditional cup of friendship and inspired by the bowl-shaped topography of the gardens, will replace the existing Ross Bandstand, which dates back to 1935. The gardens have played host to open-air concerts and events since the first facilities were created in 1877.

The Perthshire-born stage and screen star, who made his name performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, said: "Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, has such a rich and diverse cultural scene and I’m excited to showcase some of the best of it to New York.

“As a Scot, I’m fiercely proud of the history of my country, but I share The Quaich Project’s vision of marrying that history with a space that champions inclusivity, artistry and nature."

Tunstall, who was born in Edinburgh, said: "I remember when I first started playing in New York as an up and coming musician, it was such a massive thrill. I‘m excited for all the new artists shortlisted to play the celebration of Scottish culture to have that similar experience."