Jamie Sutherland – 'You share the same hopes and dreams and ideals, and that creates a strength of community'
- David Pollock
- 15 June 2018
As the Southern Exposure music festival prepares to storm Summerhall, David Pollock finds the excitement tempered by recent tragic events
Anyone who has been to a concert in the Nothing Ever Happens Here strand at Summerhall knows that it's a most unusual venue. Housed in Edinburgh University's former Royal Dick veterinary school, it's a warren of First World War-era corridors, laboratories and lecture chambers, with the old 'Dissection Room' having very effectively been turned into a mid-size gig space.
'Unfortunately the building's limitations mean that our biggest venue has a 450 capacity,' says Jamie Sutherland, the venue's music programmer. 'So I've been looking at ways to try and get a bigger venue in there.' For the past two years Summerhall has hosted an outdoor stage in their central courtyard for tie-in events with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, at which artists including Badly Drawn Boy have played. This set-up was partly what told Sutherland and venue manager Sam Gough that the Southern Exposure festival would be possible.
Over ten days, the venue will host this new outdoor music festival, which gathers together various strands of what they do. Alongside individual shows from Portico Quartet, the Rezillos and a Skids / Big Country double bill, the EIFF returns with a screening of DA Pennebaker's 1968 concert film Monterey Pop (expect to see Jimi Hendrix set his guitar alight on the big screen). Summerhall's regular Courtyard Ceilidh and beer 'Festivale' are also part of the programme.
In celebration of the National Museum of Scotland's Rip it Up exhibition, there will also be two special tie-in events: Idlewild will perform their own show on the exhibition's opening night, while the Rip it Up one-dayer is what Sutherland calls a 'festival within a festival'.
'A lot of what the National Museum is doing is embedded in the older, more established artists such as Garbage,' he says. 'A lot of what we do year-round is embedded in trying to support local artists, and we wanted to reflect that, to give them a chance to be a part of the conversation.'