Pound of flesh: Beltane will charge for 2004

Fire fest cost revealed

Increased costs force capital’s celebration of summer to charge entry fee. Words: Ruth Hedges

eltane. Edinburgh's Celtic fire festival. will be a ticket-only

event for the first time this year.

The annual carnival. which celebrates and depicts Summer’s triumph overwinter. is expected to charge $31 iE‘Q. concessionsi for entry because it now costs the organisers 5:20.000 to stage. This should cover the rising expense of insurance. stewarding and litter clearance.

Matthew Richardson. chair of the Beltane Fire Society. says: ‘Ticketing the event was the only option. The free event relied on donations which dropped as numbers rose.‘ Crowds have reached 14.000 in recent years.

Relations with Edinburgh Councn turned sour last year as funding requests were turned down. Confusion ensued. forcing the organisers to cancel the event. ‘The problem with the Council last year was miscomntunicatioii. We've now got a good rapport.' says Richardson.

Beltane. as we know it. began in 1987 when Angus Farguhar. head Of arts organisation nva. re-established the ancient ritual

into its 1 lth year.

4 THE LIST -'. 18 Mai Q’LY‘i-i

he Strokes and N't-"R'D have

been confirmed to play this year's

T in the Park on 10 and it July.

They J()lll David Bowie. the Darkness. the

PiXies and Muse on a bill dominated by guitar acts. reflecting perhaps the current music scene rather than a shift in programming for the event. which is now

The Strokes will headline Saturday while Bowie takes the final slot of the weekend on Sunday. This is the Strokes' second appearance at the festival. They played in 2001 when they were riding high on the praise for their debut album ls f/l/s It. N'E'R'D lpictured. leftl proved the hignlight

that hadn't been seen in Fdinburgh for 00 years. It since became a key exent lll Edinburgh's Festi\.'al calendar. 'l think that by stopping it for a year the council realised how popular it was ‘.Vlth the public: how unique it ‘.'.'as and how important it is to protect that.' says Faiguhar. who supports the plan to ticket the event.

‘I think it's good. It's a remarkable achievement that it's been sustaineri ‘.'.’llil()tll any public funding for so long and it'll be a nominal payment. Anyone who does have an issue with that is the kind of person who would leave their beer cans on the hill.‘

How long people can stay on the hill for this year's festival to be held on 30 April is still in negotiation. although lam is being touted. ‘lt's a sound ssue.’ says Farguhar. ‘But if people want to stay up and peacefully enjoy sitting out till dawn. that's their right."

Tickets ‘.'.’l” he on sale through a central ticketing agency yet to be confirmed. The List will give further details when announced. I If vou are Interested f/l be/ng a part of th/s year 's fest/val. e/nai/ volunteers 0 be/tanec/‘g. There Is an open meet/ng on Sun 7 Mar. (Sp/n. Be/tane Fire Society. It) Leven Street. Ed/nburgh.

Get stroked in the park

Julian and Pharrell confirmed for Balado visit. Words: Mark Robertson

of the MTV Awards last year With their show at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange and have stuck to their promise to return to Scotland.

Other acts confirmed include Dogs Die in Hot Cars and the Chemical Brothers. who head up the bill in the Slam dance tent with a DJ set.

It's not all big names though. as there is still a chance for up and coming acts to get a piece of the action by trying out for a spot at the T Break Stage. Unsigned artists of all genres are encouraged to send in CDs. the closing date for which is 22 March. Get those CDs to: T Break 200-1. lennent Caledonian Breweries. 161 Duke Street. Glasgow. Gill StJD.

Pretty in purple

I Hope springs eternal for fans of the purple pioneer Prince as he prepares to launch his new album. The Musicology tour is pencilled in for the USA for now. but word has it that the Minneapolis mini-man wants to ‘go around the world and probably go back round again‘ . . . More legends from the past are putting the bad times behind them as The Who are said to be working on their first studio album in two decades. The gang appear to have the new song bug on the back of a pair of fresh tracks which are cropping up on an imminent compilation . . . It's not all crusty central on the music front as Eminem’s 0-1 2 collective get set to unleash an album at the end of April. Dr Dre again pulls some production strings as Mr Mathers attempts to recapture the form of 2001 's Devil's Night . . . John Cusack and Monica Bellucci are teaming up for a comedy thriller called Ice Harvest in which Cusack plays a dim lawyer trying to rip off mobsters but is double-crossed by Bellucci‘s strip club owner. Billy Bob Thornton also crops up . . . Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier are set for TV screens with The L Word. described as a ‘lesbian Sex and the C/ty‘. Living TV get it first but terrestrial channels are expected to make their bids.