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Technology opens global window on Festival

Giant video screens in the park to let public sample shows. Words: Stephen Naysmith and Andrew Burnett

THE WINDOWS OF Edinburgh are to be thrown open to the world during this year’s International Festival with a new, hi-tech venue providing a virtual digest of what's on around the City.

Festival Revue conSists of two giant Video screens which will show performance highlights, interViews, and film clips from the festival proper, the Fringe, Book and Film Festivals.

Provided for free, and Situated centrally in Princes Street Gardens, the screens will be a information centre, a showcase for companies and events of all sizes, and - the organisers hope an attraction in their own right.

Among the world premieres to be screened is a presentation by the band U2 which will feature edited visuals from their Pop Mart tour while a team of at least six camera operators will roam Edinburgh generating on the spot festival coverage.

There Will be the potential for screens elsewhere in the UK, and the output will be ’streamed' onto the Internet, where it can be Viewed from all over the world. Appropriate software will be available for download free of charge from the Festival Revue web site. From here, viewers Will also be able to access links to arts organisations, box offices, advertisers and other information services.

Paul Blyth, managing director of Festival Revue, said the project was unprecedented. ’We

'This will be the single biggest arts

transmission in history,’ Paul Blyth, Festival Revue.

will be doing a web—cast eight hours a day for the month, the Single biggest arts transmission in history,’ he claimed.

Members of the public Will be able to walk in and sample everything that is happening about the City from street performance to art, With interviews from actors, artists and performers.’

For the public it will offer an opportunity to

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’try before you buy’, he explained. The screens are eleven metres square ’Jumbotrons’ of the type used by Rangers FC and the Scottish Claymores and designed for all-weathers ’even the searing Scottish summer sun’, as Blyth claimed With tongue firmly in cheek.

Possible locations for additional screens include Edinburgh’s 6er Centre and central Dundee. Blyth promises a screen Will be operational in London for next year's Festival. 'It Will be a keyhole on Edinburgh to take the Festival back to the people of Scotland, and beyond.’

Penny Mills of the Edinburgh Festival believes the proiect could be an important serVice for festival-goers. 'If it works, Festival Revue Will reach a different audience from late-night arts programmes like Edinburgh Nights,’ she said. ’The

And finally. . . From stiffies to stiffs as

MAKING A KILLING from acts of murder seems a pretty fashionable thing to do these days. And those who bang on about the immorality i of it all tend to be the last ones who should put their oar in. After hammering away at the biographer of Mary Bell for her part in boosting the funds of a self-confessed killer, certain papers have spent more time on getting the inside story of the nurses in Saudi who were, it should be remembered, convicted of murder. Each of the nurses got at least twice what Bell was paid. If our press were remotely honest, most would admit that what upset them most was losing out in the bidding war.

THE THREE BALERNO youths who kicked and punched nineteen-year- old Mark Ayton to death cashed in on their crimes in a different way. A nifty plea bargain reduced the charge from murder to culpable

18 THE lIST 28 May—ll Jun 1998

homicide, meaning they received four year sentences and could be out in eighteen months. Alcohol and i anti-English taunting appear to have I been factors but since the violence involved was ‘modest' according to the judge, the sentences were relatively lenient. Mark's father Malcolm Ayton wants the law changed, and who can blame him.

THE NAME SPRINGFIELD may call to mind the cartoon violence of The Simpsons, but not even Bart Simpson would have started the kind of mayhem which Kipland Kinkel, fifteen, inflicted upon the Oregon town of the same name. Bart's ’don't have a cow' catchphrase may just have inspired the lad’s youthful experiments with blowing up cattle, but the rest was original Kipland. His Springfield gun spree ended after he slew both his parents f and two classmates. Dubbed 'most likely to start World War III’ by his classmates, Kinkel - like the Balerno killers - was not from the ghetto but had a relatively privileged

Frank: and now the end is here

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Technofest: beamln'g'Edinburgh around the world

organisers seem to be very democratic in their approach, which might mean people can stumble across some of the more unusual things that are happening.’

Meanwhile the Edinburgh Film Festival will be taking advantage of the venue to screen excerpts from their programme, according to head of marketing Erik Auzins, who described the plans as 'excrtmg.’

He added: 'If they can eventually take Edinburgh into the heart of Covent Garden, that c0u|d open up new marketing, sponsorship and t0urism opportunities.’

Festival Revue is already claiming to have raised the largest sponsorship of any single event. The proiect is funded by a combination of sponsorship and advertising. Sales of advertising are ongoing, but the £500,000 needed to run the basic serVice is already in place.

drugcueeloses its sheen

background. Violent crime, both here and in America, appears to be confounding the cliches.

AND THE BIGGEST cliche of all, sex and death, has been in the news with reams of publicity for the impotency drug Viagra followed by rather embarassing news about side effects. Headaches, inflammation and even sudden death have allegedly been reported by the pop- up pill-peppers. But there's been no drop in demand - the other main complaint is from doctors who are getting cramp writing hundreds of prescriptions for the stuff.

THE DEATH OF Frank Sinatra, brought many to 'spontaneously‘ utter the elegies they'd been rehearsing ever since the end was nigh some time last year. Just as predictable was the kind of very public family civil war which only seems to break out when the fabulously wealthy die. Shame the financial details of the dead aren't as closely guarded as Sinatra's mob connections. (Brian Donaldson)