From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes

Festival In Wester Hailes

Every year as the Edinburgh Festival gets underway, there is discussion about the direction this huge annual event is headed in.  Is it now too big?  Is it too costly, too commercial, too corporate?  And is it too centralised with the majority of venues being located in one area of the city? 

 These are questions that have followed the Festival’s progress over many years.  Back in August 1984 the Sentinel featured an interview with Frank Dunlop, the new Director of the Edinburgh International Festival.  He was keen to attract new audiences and to have more events dispersed across the city to get away from the Festival’s “stuffed shirt” image.  Two official Festival performances were brought to Wester Hailes: the group Sweet Honey In The Rocks and Bel Fong’s kite making workshops. Wester Hailes already had its own Festival Office with a team organising events and performances.  Highlights in 1984 included a new play The Forth Estate, Haggis the Circus Show and a play for children called “Norman and the Witches”.  And the poet Edwin Morgan visited the WHEC to read and discuss some of his work. 

 To see the interview with Frank Dunlop and more information on Wester Hailes’ Festival Week, click here. Sentinel-1984 festival


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