A NEW grandstand planned for the
Edinburgh Military Tattoo could clear the
way for other festivals to use the prime
space of the Castle Esplanade, it emerged
The Tattoo producer, Major-General Euan
Loudon, has been in early talks about ways
of using the site with Jonathan Mills, the
director of the Edinburgh International
Festival (EIF). The idea emerged yesterday
in a public discussions on the future of the
The Tattoo uses a seating structure whose
design dates back to the 1972 Munich
Olympics. It takes several months to put up
and slightly less time to dismantle. By
2010, however, the Tattoo hopes to have a
modern, commercially-designed system that
could go up and come down far faster.
"The place that the event takes
place in is not used a great deal at other
times of the year," said Maj-Gen
Loudon. "Jonathan and I have talked a
little bit about where there might be space
to go in that direction."
The Tattoo leases the Esplanade from
Historic Scotland. But if the Tattoo could
move out of the space faster, it could bring
more flexibility for the Festival.
"There are many ideas being
discussed," an EIF spokesman said
yesterday. "Because the festivals are
in constant touch with each other, we
discuss ideas and possibilities. We are just
talking about a possible space."
Mr Mills, whose first Festival has sold
out in many performances, said it was
"clashes" and "chaos"
that made the Edinburgh festivals so
"What gets this Festival its
particular following, is this bit of
chaos," he said. "I don't want
people to come to my Festival and love every
single bit of it; I want them to feel
The visual-art strand of the EIF, which
he reintroduced for the first time in 15
years, will continue and develop, he said.
This year has seen several new directors
finding their way in the riotous festival
season. Catherine Lockerbie, the director of
the Edinburgh International Book Festival,
said the festivals needed to work together
more closely on issues such as
infrastructure and marketing. There needed
to be strategic investment in transport, the
cost and condition of venues, and whether
the city felt properly prepared for
Maj-Gen Loudon, new in the post this
year, said the Tattoo was looking outside
the UK more for military bands but said he
would also consider introducing youth or
choral acts into the event.
Hannah McGill, the director of the
Edinburgh International Film Festival,
defended the decision to move her event to
June from next year. "It's to do with
the logistics of Edinburgh in August,"
she said. "If you are bringing 100
people for a conference, it's very hard to
find affordable beds for them."
Ms McGill said she hoped to increase the
number of discussion events around films and
stressed that she would maintain an August
presence. It was not just a question of
showing more films, she said.
Jon Morgan, director of the Festival
Fringe, said marketing and accommodation
were major issues, though its younger
audience were happy to use temporary
SCOTTISH OPERA 'TOO DEAR'
SCOTTISH Opera was invited to join the
Edinburgh International Festival this year,
but the price tag for the production ruled
it out, the festival director Jonathan Mills
It would have cost £200,000 more than
the undisclosed price of bringing a German
opera company to Edinburgh.
Cologne Opera's Capriccio is showing this
week as a highlight of the EIF's final days.
Scottish Opera is now on course to join
the festival in 2008. It could benefit from
the Scottish Executive's pledge of a £2
million fund to support Scottish work.
Scottish Opera's restructuring has left
it relying on freelance work, including its
chorus, said Mr Mills. "They are not in
a situation where we can afford to work with
them at the moment."
Alex Reedijk, the company's general
director, said timing was probably wrong in
With he and Mr Mills new in their jobs,
he said: "We both felt there probably
wasn't enough time to pull a project