KT Tunstall headlines the Burns & Beyond Culture Trail - here we reveal the full list of acts appearing across Edinburgh as part of the flagship event
NINE venues in four hours, over one evening, that is the extraordinary musical journey that will be the heart of this year’s Burns & Beyond Festival.
The flagship event of the festival, which runs from 21 January to 9 February, The Burns & Beyond Culture Trail will find top Scottish folk acts such as KT Tunstall, Blue Rose Code and Pictish Trail, entertaining in nine spaces across the Old and New towns. Over the four packed hours on the evening of Saturday 25 January, ticket holders to the trail can enjoy a feast of music and poetry by leading artists from throughout Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond.
In the New Town, KT Tunstall and Friends will take over the Assembly Rooms’ Music Hall on George Street. Joining the popular singer/songwriter will be ‘sonic hermit’ and cult performer Pictish Trail aka Johnny Lynch, Alannah Moar and other surprise special guests. At the same venue, Aidan O’Rourke of Lau fame will bring an evening of spoken word and music to The Ballroom. There he will create Lucky Middlemass’s Salon, along with the Kinnaris Quintet, BBC 6 Music favourite Rozi Plain and featuring spoken word from award-winning poet Nadine Aisha Jassat. Ticket holders will also be able to pop into a new venue in Assembly Lane which will be transformed into a dance floor for the hugely popular Silent Disco with The Great Calverto and Silent Adventures.
Al Thomson, Director of Unique Events, promises, “The Culture Trail allows local and visiting audiences to explore the city centre, discovering incredible live performance in landmark buildings and more secretive venues. From hidden places including Freemason’s Hall and The Merchant’s Hall, to transformed spaces such as St Giles’ Cathedral filled with a stunning display of Chinese Lanterns, each venue will offer a completely different cultural experience, from comedy to music to spoken word and whisky tasting. All to celebrate the life and work of our national bard - and all for a single ticket.”
Staying in the New Town, Neu! Reekie! Presents, an evening of music and poetry at the Freemason’s Hall further along George Street, will feature cult Edinburgh hip-hop group Stanley Odd, singer-songwriter Carla J Easton (TeenCanteen), and spoken word from Michael Pedersen. It will also feature an explosive rendition of Burns’ Tam O’Shanter by Kevin Williamson, accompanied by the music of Craig Lithgow and members of the Kixx Collective.
In the Gilded Balloon Basement on Rose Street, meanwhile, expect a hilarious evening of comedy from Gareth Waugh, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, Majorlein Robertson, Susan Riddell, Jamie Dalgleish and Scott Capurro.
Elsewhere, Whisky Tasting with Johnnie Walker, a huge hit of the inaugural event, returns in The Merchant’s Hall on Hanover Street. Hosted by Nigel Robertson, it will allow whisky connoisseurs and novices alike the chance to discover the delights of our national drink.
Moving over to the Old Town, the immersive experience of hundreds of illuminated Chinese lanterns throughout St Giles’ Cathedral will provide a spectacular sight that will be complimented by a specially commissioned soundtrack.
Just around the corner in the Liquid Room on Victoria Street, Out of the Ordinary, the Edinburgh all-star band, are set to follow up two sold out shows with a raucous evening featuring Leith’s Joseph Malik and house DJs Jo Wallace and Ashley Beedle. They will be playing alongside the original Leith supergroup The Bum Clocks, with actor Tam Dean Burn.
The line-up at the Liquid Room also includes the Easter Road Northern Soul Band, Stephen Christie, Malcolm Ross, Rusty Burn, Paul McNeil, Lynzie Dray, Roseanne Erskine, Daniel McGeever and the city’s King of Afrobeat, Einstein.
Finally, Blue Rose Code presents a special evening of music with full band and strings sessions in Greyfriars Kirk. A nomad, both geographically and musically, Ross Wilson aka Blue Rose Code writes straight from, and to, the heart. His songs address universal themes of love, loss, travel, home, accepting the past and embracing the future in a deeply personal way.
They are variously painted with the vibrant colours of folk, Americana, jazz, country, soul and pop - an eclecticism that has become a hallmark of his work, which has seen him compared to John Martyn, Van Morrison and Tom Waits amongst others.
If all that is not enough to keep you occupied, the 2020 Burns & Beyond Festival Culture Trail will come to an end with an After Party in the Assembly Rooms’ Ballroom. From 10.30pm, the music will be provided by DJ Davie Miller of FiniTribe and Paradise Palms Records along with surprise guests.
Tickets to join the Burns & Beyond Festival Culture Trail cost £25 per person. Ticket holders will be given a start venue on receipt of their ticket but can visit as many of the venues as they choose to in any order.
Limited venue only tickets are available for Neu! Reekie! Presents at Freemason’s Hall, Blue Rose Code at Greyfriars Kirk and Out of the Ordinary at the Liquid Rooms.
Single venue tickets for these events are available priced £12.50.
Tickets can be purchased from www.burnsandbeyond.com where full details of Festival events can also be found