Rare Ross Bandstand reopening for Coronation celebration highlights its shameful neglect
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But I was certainly intrigued to see the return of big crowds to Princes Street Gardens for the first time since the Hogmanay celebrations.
Unlike many of those commenting on the attendance on social media, I was more interested in the fact that the Ross Bandstand had been reopened.
The two bandstands in the gardens – the original opened in the 1870s and was replaced in the 1930s - have arguably been at the heart of Edinburgh public life more than any other location.
Yet the King’s Coronation will be one of the few occasions this year that the arena is publicly accessible.
Despite its importance to Edinburgh’s festivals, the stage and concrete bowl for spectators have been shamefully neglected in recent decades.
Basic infrastructure is now woefully inadequate and the cost of temporary staging needed for most events is eye-watering.
I would expect the cost of a free opening weekend celebration at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival to run into six figures.
The infrastructure needed for the broadcast of the King’s Coronation needed financial help from the UK Government, although local taxpayers will have footed the bill to some extent.
Edinburgh came close to replacing the bandstand over the last decade after hotelier Norman Springford offered to help fund a project. A winning concept chosen after an international design contest met with widespread approval.
However growing concerns from heritage organisations about the level of development planned, the number and scale of events proposed, and how the gardens would be run in future culminated in Mr Springford walking away from the project, which has since been shelved due to funding problems.
It should be a huge source of embarrassment for the city and the country that such a historic asset is locked-up and unused for all but a handful of occasions.
It should be a priority to explore how to either bring the existing venue up to scratch or secure a sensitive replacement fitting for the heart of a capital city.