This article has been written with the support of Fair Saturday.
Fair Saturday: 'A movement that puts culture before consumerism, social empathy before greed and idealism before materialism'
- Katharine Gemmell
- 9 November 2018
As the open and participatory cultural movement arrives in Scotland on St Andrew's Day, co-founders Jordi Albareda and Saioa Eibar tell us more
St Andrews Day – Scotland's national day – is not typically something Scots are known for making a song and a dance about; yes, some may raise a whisky, wear a bit of tartan, or attend a ceilidh – but as it's not a 'proper' bank holiday, the majority famously under-celebrate. However, this may all be about to change with the arrival of Fair Saturday, an arts and culture mobilisation movement born in Spain's Basque Country and coming to Scotland to celebrate St Andrews Day.
Fair Saturday began in 2014 when 22 choirs and three soloists got together and organised 18 concerts across the city of Bilbao. The premise was that the concerts started at the same time, so there was something for everyone, and for each show to support a different social cause. The reaction was unprecedented and resulted in 8,000 attendees and 8,000 euros raised for good causes. From this, Fair Saturday was born, and with the hard work of the project's co-founders, Jordi Albareda and Saioa Eibar, it grew into an open and participatory cultural movement that was to take place annually on the day after Black Friday.
To host an event at Fair Saturday, the event in question has to help a social cause in three ways: by honouring their work and publicising it to an audience; by allowing the charity to do a short presentation before the event, highlighting their contribution to society; and by giving money to the cause through an artist-agreed percentage of ticket income or donation collections. 'This was the first step in the creation of a movement aimed at boosting arts and culture as essential to build fairer, stronger and well-developed societies' explains Jordi Albareda. 'It's a movement that puts culture before consumerism, social empathy before greed and idealism before materialism. That is Fair Saturday.'
When the first official edition kicked off in 2015, hundreds of artists from around Spain joined the 18 initial concerts in Bilbao, to create a gathering of 200 events in 45 different cities. Altogether it generated a staggering 70,000 euros for social causes. Since then more cities have got involved with the concept, including cities as far away as Lima, Peru. There are now official hubs in the likes of Milan, Pisa, Bristol, Santander and now Scotland will join the list as the first country to take a nation-wide approach to Fair Saturday celebrations. Saioa Eibar notes, 'Fair Saturday is growing step by step, with the goal in mind of becoming a global celebration of arts and culture while supporting social causes.'