BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals 2013

We’ll be part of a BBC package of broadcasting and events which will bring the Edinburgh Festival into viewers and listeners’ homes across the UK as well being as being fun – and a bit informative too..."Fred MacAulay
Date: 21.06.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.53
Category: Scotland
The BBC today announces an array of activity at the Edinburgh festivals in 2013.

Simon Mayo getting festival fever for Radio 2, a series of Arts programmes celebrating the best of the fest, a hands-on celebration of Edinburgh’s art heritage at its hub in Potterrow and Radio Scotland’s MacAulay & Co getting an extended three week Fringe foray are all part of a multiplatform package of broadcasting and events from the BBC at Edinburgh this year.

The BBC Arts teams will be gearing up for the August festivals with three Culture Shows for BBC Two - including a programme dedicated to the Traverse Theatre at 50 – as well as two further festival focused Review Shows on BBC Four and a series of digital delights online at The Space. There will also be documentaries giving viewers further insight into some of the artists and performers celebrated at the Festivals.

Says Fred MacAulay: “Over the years, tickets for our Edinburgh shows have gone within days of being made available and guests – from across the festivals – have been clamouring to come on.

“So this year we're going to increase our Fringe presence from two weeks to three. That means, that with 15 shows, we'll be able to accommodate 50% more guests than in previous years… which all adds up to… EVEN MORE comedians and performers than ever before.

“And we’ll be part of a BBC package of broadcasting and events which will bring the Edinburgh Festival into viewers and listeners’ homes across the UK as well being as being fun – and a bit informative too – on the ground at  too.”

A major part of the BBC’s festival commitment will be an increased roster of learning initiatives based around BBC output and projects, which will be showcased at the BBC hub at Potterrow.

A new highlight, linked to the Your Paintings project, will invite members of the public to paint their own interpretation of sections of classic Edinburgh-related artworks, ranging from Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen, held in the National Museum of Scotland, through to iconic scenes such as The Old Town, Edinburgh by Carola Gordon as well as Edinburgh Abstract by William George Gillies.

For each of the selected artworks, there will be a canvas split into 63 pieces with each piece painted by members of the public and put together before a special unveiling by a BBC personality.

BBC Three’s Free Speech will have workshops in debating for young people hosted by Rick Edwards and Tina Daheley, which also link into a special festival live broadcast of the show.

There will also be a greater emphasis at the BBC Potterrow base on providing activities for children and families. There will be science sessions with Nina And The Neurons, Fran Scott of Absolute Genius and a special Superhuman Challenge. Rastamouse co-creator Michael de Souza will be doing musical readings of his stories accompanied by performances from Da Easy Crew. CBeebies’ Mr Bloom and the Veggies will be entertaining our youngest audiences.

School report will also be at Potterrow, providing journalistic experience to secondary school pupils and Authors Live will include sessions with the Etherington Brothers and Julia Donaldson.

The Listening Project will also be in attendance to provide an opportunity to share stories of everyday happenings through workshops and recordings.

The New Comedy Award, the return of the Poetry Slam Final and BBC Film and Drama screenings are also part of the schedule of events at the BBC hub.

Karen Gregory, executive producer in BBC Learning, says: “We are delighted to be back at the University of Edinburgh’s Potterrow site for a third year, bringing together a wide range of BBC broadcast activity and some fabulous activities for families to get really hands-on with.

"There’s a variety of things to have a go at whether recreating famous Scottish paintings, learning about inventions or getting close to wildlife. Come along and get to know some of your favourite programmes and much loved characters. We want to ensure that whatever your age, you’ll find lots to get involved with at the BBC Potterrow site in Edinburgh.”

As well as the above activities, some of which will be ticketed, visitors can also apply for tickets to be in the audience for a wide range of shows at the BBC Potterrow hub including:

  • Radio 2 ‘s Simon Mayo Drivetime, Radio 3’s In Tune and Late Junction, 5 live’s Richard Bacon and Shaun Keaveny, of BBC 6 Music
  • A raft of Radio 4 programming from Front Row, to The News Quiz, Just A Minute, The Unbelievable Truth, Loose Ends, Clare In The Community, Comic Fringes, It’s Not What You Know and The Today Programme, plus Radio 4 Extra will be bringing its Stand Up Show to Edinburgh
  • BBC Radio Scotland’s MacAulay & Co, Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth, Jazz House, and Vic Galloway

A further range of broadcasting highlights for people, who cannot make it to the Potterrow events, include:

  • Kevin Bridges and Adam Hills hosting a comedy showcase from Edinburgh’s Playhouse for BBC Three, which will also have an Edinburgh Free Speech special
  • BBC Two will have three Culture Shows, including a programme dedicated to the Traverse Theatre, with a further two festival specials on The Review Show on BBC Four
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on BBC one, showcasing a wide range of performers from abroad and home, including the Massed Pipes and Drums
  • Radio 3, the International Festival’s Official broadcast partner, returns with a bigger commitment than ever with 15 live concerts from the Queen’s Hall – including performances from Dorothea Roschmann, Midori and Pierre-Laurent. The station will also record five concerts for later transmission, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s sold-out performance of Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of its Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles and an evening of 20th century classics with Principal Guest conductor Ilan Volkov

The BBC package of broadcast programmes – with more to be announced later - will allow audiences across the UK to feel part of the cultural extravaganza of the Edinburgh festivals, and visitors to Potterrow will very much be part of it through a schedule of activities and audience participation.

Further festival activity this year includes a BBC Scotland Page to Screen session at the Book Festival and four films, co-produced by the BBC at the Edinburgh International Film Festival – Not Another Happy Ending, Kissing The Water, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, and Fire In The Night.

Notes to Editors

Picture: Edinburgh Abstract (c1936-1938) by William George Gillies (Image credit: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture).