Pressure grows on city chiefs to save Edinburgh music festival

THOUSANDS more dance music fans have backed a campaign to save an under-threat city festival.

Sunday, 16th June 2019, 11:01 am
Fly Open Air

The Evening News reported last week how the Fly Open Air event in Princes Street gardens could get its capacity slashed by a third, making it "unsafe, overcrowded and unviable."

But now more than 5,600 supporters have signed an online petition to protect the popular event.

They include Inverleith independent councillor, Gavin Barrie, who said: “It saddens me greatly that there is even a debate about whether the Fly Open Air Festival will take place this year in Princes Street Gardens.

“This is a local company who have, from scratch, built a hugely successful internationally recognised music event for young people that gives the very best Scottish talent a fantastic showcase. What’s not to like?”

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Council chiefs drew up strict new conditions aimed at reducing the impact of the event on the gardens.

Cllr Barrie said he understood concerns about public access to Princes Street Gardens West but argued nearby Princes Street Gardens East will offer “a bit of peace and quiet.”

“2018 saw all levels of government in Scotland support the Year of Young People and the city council was keen that this support was not a one-year flash in the pan,” added Cllr Barrie.

“Anything that stops this event going ahead will only serve to enhance the unwelcome ‘you’ll have had your tea young people’ reputation that has been associated with our city.”

Cllr Barrie said the city has been widely criticised for its lack of support for live music venues and now had the opportunity to put this right.

“I’m not party to who is holding up permission for this event to go ahead but my plea to them would be please think again and offer support and, for all the right reasons, let the music play.”

Fly Open Air director Tom Ketley vowed to ramp up the pressure on councillors this week.

He added: “I will be contacting all the councillors again Monday morning - 5,000-plus have signed - their voice needs to be heard.”

The Save FLY Open Air petition is available online.