It is August so pity those year-long residents of Edinburgh who have all the media of the world, but mainly London, discharge over them like warm sick for a month as it’s the annual Edinburgh Festival everyone!
Now as a Glaswegian it is easy to mock the Other Place through emerald green eyes of jealousy but when younger I used to love the festival visiting it often and enjoying the somewhat anarchic sense that this establishment art festival was also the home of genuine alternative comedy, drama and so on. Then in the late 80s (as regular readers of this blog know) I moved to England swanning around the East Midlands, London and Bristol so I only observed from afar what was going on.That is the selling out of the Festival to corporations and the wholesale change of Edinburgh (well, the bits you might see on the telly) from a vibrant capital city to a playground for the wealthy and for tourists.
Now many cities are doing the same. I’ve blogged about how Bristol’s mayor and council are cleansing (a word I don’t use lightly) the poor from areas like Stokes Croft for a younger, wealthier crowd There’s no money to be made from the poor so they’re shunted to out of town estates with shite infrastructure and a feeling of being robbed as their former homes are sold to private landlords who’ll make a mint from turning it into an AirBNB.
Edinburgh is no different. People are being priced out including the artistic community who don’t have access to a trust fund or their parents expenses account. Art is being commercialised, sold to corporations and rebranded back to us as lifestyle choices or ‘experiences’ that are mere shadows of what the real thing used to be but just edgy enough to appeal to the middle class leftish liberals who flood the city like Stepford nuclear families.
So, this brings me to one of Scotland’s newer media and politics commentators, Bonnie Prince Bob, and his thoughts on the festival. It needs to be watched because this isn’t something restricted to Edinburgh as said, but it would be a fucking shame to see that city wrecked.