Edinburgh Festivals get £8.6m London gift

Edinburgh Festivals get £8.6m London gift


norman lebrecht

March 15, 2023

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has allocated a direct grant of £8.6 million to the Edinburgh festivals, bypassing the nationalist Scottish Government which is not that bothered by culture.

The gift arrives as as a golden hello to Nicola Benedetti who takes over this summer as festival director.


  • sonicsinfonia says:

    Isn’t that what the Arts Council is supposedly for? Not so interested that Scotland didn’t set up and fund Sistema Scotland – until the wheels came off…

    • Doc Martin says:

      Arts Council is diversity generalist, it is not specific to classical music. A festival eats cash it needs extra funding. It brings in tourist income. Try booking hotels when it is on.

    • Maria says:

      Scotland have their own Arts Council and it’s a tiny country compared to England but the Edinburgh Festival as you know is a major international but UK festival so a gift from London and the central UK government will be very welcomed. Good for the whole country.

  • Doc Martin says:

    I think the SNP are bothered by culture, they support the Highland games, bag pipes and Haggis and Kilts etc. They may not know much about classical music, Nicola is at least trying to educate them.

    I have never eaten Haggis nor worn a kilt, as an Irishman I prefer my bespoke Donegal tweed from Kevin & Howlin, Nassau street, Dublin and the Uilleann pipes.

  • Doc Martin says:

    The Edinburgh Festival ticks many boxes, it is not all music.

  • dj says:

    London gift? Getting some of the tax revenues stolen by england you mean! And the nationalist gov in Scotland not that bothered by culture, Really!! Nazi england go fuck yourself and your rancid slag king

  • DH says:

    We should note the plural ‘festivals’. There are six main festivals in Edinburgh in August. The International Festival (the ‘official’ festival) and the Festival Fringe are the best known – but there is also the the Book Festival, the Art Festival, the Film Festival and the Military Tattoo. These are separate organisations. Nicola Benedetti is the new Director of the International Festival.

    It was not made clear how the £8.6m will be allocated. A much needed permanent base for the Fringe seems to be the local favourite.

    The Fringe is the world’s largest performance arts festival with almost 60,000 performances more or less round the clock over three and a bit weeks. The international festival has just over 400 performances.