Fringe by the Sea announces its return in August
- Emma Simmonds
- 18 February 2021
Basement Jaxx will be amongst the acts at the East Lothian arts festival
Providing some light at the end of the tunnel, East Lothian's popular Fringe by the Sea arts festival has announced preliminary plans to return this summer – for ten days, from Fri 6 to Sun 15 Aug. Basement Jaxx, Peat & Diesel, Janey Godley, Candi Staton, The Poozies and the Blues Band have been rebooked from the cancelled 2020 event, with many new performers yet to be announced.
The event will be supported by partners North Berwick Trust, Belhaven Brewery and DC Thomson Media, and a bold new approach will be in evidence this year. The festival's programme has been specifically designed to strengthen community engagement, assist local economic recovery, and make sure audiences are welcomed into Covid-secure environments.
Under the theme of 'open arms, open spaces, open minds', Fringe by the Sea will explore exciting new commission-based projects involving diverse community groups. While, tied in to Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters, a spotlight will be shone on the county's rich natural environment. John Muir Green will play host to Scottish Seabird Centre sessions, East Lothian Countryside Ranger excursions, classroom envirocrafts, and 'Sustainability and Sensibility', where high-profile speakers will discuss ways to ensure our planet is fit for the future.
New spaces will be utilised across the town, with outdoor auditoriums enabling social distancing for audiences of up to 500 people. The North Berwick Trust Harbour Home will provide a platform for artists and artisans to showcase their products, and will feature a music stage and an interactive playroom area for kids. The relaunched Marine Hotel & Lawn will host masterclasses and seminars on food and drink. All areas will be managed in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.
Commenting on the plans, festival director Rory Steel said: 'Over the past year, we've seen just what a vital role communities play in public health and wellbeing. Our intention this year is to celebrate the strength of the East Lothian community, invite others in and create new opportunities for people to connect, as well as bringing exciting new talent and established names to the region. With the festival bringing £1.5m of economic benefit to East Lothian, we hope to provide a welcome boost as we recover from the pandemic.'
Visit fringebythesea.com for more details and information on how to get involved as a volunteer, in a paid post, or as a trader or performer. Updates will be added regularly as plans take shape.