Edinburgh reveals festival details and New_ Year plans Hogmanay spectacular sparks ticket rush

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday 15 November) for events at the biggest-yet Edinburgh Hogmanay festival, now thought to be the world’s largest New Year celebration.

Unique Events, who are organising the festival with the City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise Ltd and Edinburgh Tourist Board, plan to make Edinburgh the world focus for the archetypally Scottish festivities as the millennium approaches.

This year‘s five-day festival is expected to attract some 400,000 revellers, an increase of 50,000 on 1995/6.

Among the hottest tickets will be the Concert In The Gardens featuring Runrig and Horse; the New Year Revels at the Assembly Rooms, and its new, bigger twin Revels 2: The Tartan Tear Up at the old GPO building, offering entertainment, food, drink and debauchery, plus access to street events until the wee small hours of 1997.

Other new events include the Gilded Balloon‘s Hogmanay Club, Club 97 at the Traverse; Futurama, a gathering of mystics to honour Hogmanay's pagan roots; The Music OfAngels. by French street theatre group Compagnie Transe Express and a Children Of Albion Rovers literary rave led by lrvine Welsh and other Rebel lnc. writers.

For the athletic (who may previously have competed in the New Year '3 Day Triathlon) there'll be a chance to participate in Meadowbank‘s Hogmanay Games and for the seriously foolhardy The Loony Dook a New Year’s Day dip in the Firth of Forth.

More relaxing additions include Jazz 0n Hogmanay, featuring Scots chanteuses Suzanne Bonnar, Fionna Duncan and Carol Kidd.

As in the past, free outdoor concerts, fireworks and street theatre will be a key feature. Ocean Colour Scene headline at the Forth FM Stage, supported by Babybird, and Stereophonics.. (Andrew Bumet)

The List will publish a full guide to Edinburgh ‘3 Hogmanay 1996/7 in our 12 December issue.

ilogmanay: this year’s crowds will be bigger still

Festival programme will be another 50th anniversary

Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) this week announced part ot the programme tor next year’s event, which will run trom 10 to 30 August 1991.

Cunning marketing will give the testival a second chance to celebrate next year. This year saw the 50th Festival; next year sees the 50th anniversary oi the tirst Festival.

Confirmed dance acts include the San Francisco Ballet and France’s Ballet Atlantique (who are

collaborating with Scots organic artist

Andy Boldsworthy); theatre/film tusion comes trom Barcelona’s La Cubana company; while the concert programme includes Russia‘s Kirov, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Oslo

Philharmonic and ilamburg’s SWF Symphony Orchestra. Opera will be homegrown, with perionnances trom the Royal Opera Oovent Garden and Scottish Opera.

EIF has also released audience statistics tor 1996, including overall box office takings which tor the first time topped £2 million. Visitors to the city accounted for more than halt the total audience - another tirst - and almost BO per cent of tourists in Edinburgh during August claimed the Festival was their only reason tor being there.

llowever culture vultures will have to circle Edinburgh tor a few months yet. Booking for EIF 1997 does not open until 5 April. (Andrew Bumet)

Police move on violence in clubland

Edinburgh pubs and clubs are being targetted in a new police operation, which some owners say is hitting takings and driving clubbers away.

For three successive weekends, a heavy police presence in the Cowgate area of the city has affected clubbers, apparently following a spate of violent incidents.

Amid rumours of protection rackets and anti-drug campaigns. police were unwilling to confirm that violence alone had sparked the police action.

However. one of the organisers of Astromotel. the club night at The Honeycomb on Fridays, believes concern over ‘casuals' - gangs of violent youths - were definitely the main worry.

He said the presence of officers and police vans was welcome as long as they didn’t interfere with clubbers‘ enjoyment. ‘I don‘t think it is a threatening presence. They are there to make sure people don‘t get hurt. I am all for people stopping violent idiots.‘

He added that two assaults had caused the police to act. ‘A student got really badly beaten up and someone got stabbed coming out of a bar a couple of weeks ago.‘

Crowds at Astromotel had not been affected. he claimed. but privately, other club organisers and owners admit takings are down by as much as 20 per cent.

Lothian and Borders police would not confirm additional claims that doormen on pubs and clubs have been issued with lists of known drug offenders, in an American-style police blitz on the clubbing scene.

‘It is not that sort of thing at all,‘ said a spokesperson for the force, ‘but police attention has been given to this area. We have recently held talks with licencees of premises in Blair Street reminding them of their responsibilities.

“The increased police activity is going to continue for the forseeablc future,’ she added. (Stephen Naysmith)

BOO seeks increase in minority writers

Black and Asian writers are not breaking through into television drama, according to BBC Scotland, who have launched a new initiative to encourage ethnic minority writers to pitch story ideas.

It is hoped that the project,

Migrations, will increase the number of

writers competing for short film finance under existing schemes like BBC Scotland's Tartan Shorts.

The drama department is inviting applications for an intensive screen- writing course to be held in spring next year, to enable black and Asian writers to develop script ideas.

‘lt's all a question of access,‘ said head of drama Andrea Calderwood. ‘We have built up a very healthy

network of short film initiatives. Up until now. very few new writers have taken up these opportunities According to the project‘s special consultant, Nadine Marsh Edwards, the lack of ethnic minorities on television discourages people with good ideas from putting themselves forward. ‘lf you don’t see stories on screen which you recognise, you don‘t bother,‘ she said. ‘The aim of this project is to encourage people to apply for opportunities that are already there. Marsh-Edwards had a low-budget hit

with Bhaji On The Beach about a group

of Asian women on a day-trip to Blackpool, and has also been involved in a scheme in South Africa to devel0p black creative talent in filmmaking.

as .t .

lllt: Bhall On The Beach

,: g

The point, she says. is not to make films for ethnic markets. but to tell mainstream stories from a different perspective. ‘These people live in Scotland so the cultural references will be recognisable but from a different viewpoint,’ she said.

‘Minority' subjects have to jump over extra hurdles. Marsh~Edwards warns, but she believes schemes such as Migrations do have a positive effect rather than just paying lip-service to multi-cultural programming. ‘I was very pleased to be asked to do this because l'm usually the one that's moaning,‘ she added. (Eddie Gibb)

To apply for Migrations send CV plus existing script for screen. stage or radio, or a one-page story idea to: Drama Department, BBC Scotland. Queen Margaret Drive. Glasgow G] 2 BBC.

4 The List 15-28 Nov 1996