No doubt, Edinburgh Fringe is a vast gathering of all the sublime performers that Scotland and beyond have to offer, but there’s still a beautiful selection of events happening outwith the Fringe programme in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland this August. Perfect if you want to escape the frantic Fringe flyering or want to enjoy something closer to home.
JUPITER RISING x EAF
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh
Curling moss-covered trees nestle alongside weird and wonderful sculptures and a Jacobean revival house in this iconic environment, perfect for this one-night-only event, curated by artist Lindsey Mendick and queer collective Bonjour. They promise ‘debauchery’, the best ‘de’ word after decapitation and delectable. There will be Sgàireoke, karaoke wonders hosted by Sgàire Wood, the S.T.A.S.I.S. performance collective putting on an absolute show, several artworks created in events associated with Scottish Pride events this summer, and a late-night stage programme selected by Bonjour.
ANDREW CRANSTON: BOOK LAUNCH AND ARTIST WALKTHROUGH
The Glasite Meeting House, Edinburgh
The process of making art is often as interesting as the art itself; Cranston uses linen-bound covers of old books as canvas and creates his pieces in layers, lacquering, bleaching, and collaging. His exhibition, Never a joiner, is on display here until 16th September and features these book cover creations, as well as a new series of large-scale canvases. This event celebrates the launch of a new publication of his artwork and includes a signing and exhibition walkthrough with the artist himself – a perfect place to learn even more about the process.
Various Locations, Glasgow
12th till 20th August
I guarantee you will never have seen as many, nor such a variety of, pipers in one place. For the first time ever, the Big Band showcase will walk the streets of Glasgow’s West End (instead of the centre). It’s open to anyone who plays a practice chanter, bagpipes, snare, bass or tenor drum, and all ages are welcome. Every day of the festival, you can experience free acoustic recitals inside Kelvingrove Museum itself! Pipe Idol is back for 2023, and showcases the best young pipers in the world. Canntaireachd is a stunning new collaboration between pipers and Gaelic singers Kathleen MacInnes, Kim Carnie, Brìghde Chaimbeul and Ailis Sutherland with the new collective Staran, imbibing fresh spirit into songs centuries old, with new music throughout.
Maryhill Community Central Halls & The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
18th till 20th August
How often have you and your pals heard/said a strange phrase and exclaimed: ‘Oh my god, that could be our band name!’ You’ve not come up with any as epic/weird/cool as the lineup for this fest: Cumgirl8 (please check out their YouTube music videos), Cloud Rat (over 30s, beware your neck, for you will headbang to them furiously), Fit To Work (excellent song names), Brat Coven (catchy feminist lyrics), and many many more. As well as live music performances, there’s also an exclusive merch market, local artist exhibitions, skate events and more TBA.
National Museum of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
1st August till 29th October
Maybe you’re visiting Edinburgh and would like a refuge from the bustle – a museum is a great calm space to breathe for a while. Beyond the Little Black Dress explores this wardrobe staple and how its many forms over the years chart the socio-political issues of their times. Featuring over 60 garments, this display shows how this simple article of clothing is anything but. You can see early 20th-century pieces from Chanel, Dior, and Jean Muir, alongside many modern ones. The exhibition features Black British designers whose work interrogates both Blackness as identity and how the colour is part of creating a futuristic sci-fi aesthetic. There’s also elements of smart technologies and creating sustainability within fashion. You can choose to experience this exhibition as part of the museum’s Relaxed Viewings too – on select dates and times noisy interactives and videos will be turned off and visitor numbers reduced. From 12th August, you can see Rising Tide: Art and Environment in Oceania, an exhibition responding to climate change and plastic waste from Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander artists. It hosts the latest iteration of George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean installation, which imagines the seas 100 years from now, created using single-use plastic bottles.
Various Locations, Glasgow
19th till 20th August
This is only the second year of Scotland’s international convention of hip-hop and underground culture, and the list of performers and speakers they have brought together is astounding. Seven-time bestselling author LaJoyce Brookshire will appear online to discuss the behind-the-scenes of the music industry – the ‘sheroes’ behind the success of icons. She was the director of publicity at Arista Records in the 1990s, and as such represented music legends including Aretha Franklin, OutKast, TLC, Whitney Houston and Biggie Smalls. The Celebrating Scotland panel will feature artists Divine Tasinda, Vagrant Real Estate, Sanjeev Mann and Bee Asha Singh. Mae Diansangu, a Black queer artist from Aberdeen who performs in both English and Doric, has curated the superb spoken word programme too. The spectrum of the industry is represented, including agents, managers, photographers, music labels, poets and performers. Look out for announcements on who was selected for their live showcase and other additions to the programme.
TITANIUM GIRL PRESENTS MEGAN BLACK
Megan Black takes the rough-surfaced rock that is gender, sexuality and mental health, and polishes it to a shine with her 70s-inspired music. Don’t be fooled by the sparkle – it still leaves a beautiful bruise when she pelts it. She is supported by Blackbirds, an arresting 4-piece rock band based in Glasgow, and 8 Days, a Peebles-based alternative rock band whose members were all born within 8 days of each other!