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Editor at Large

Leith Festival says hello again…


Yours truly has an easy time of it this month as Carrie Beattie, the new Leith Festival Coordinator gives us the lowdown on this year’s keenly awaited return. And Calum Mackay tells me a little about his passion for getting musicians back into pubs. (Hope Leith Jazz & Blues Festival went swimmingly sir!)

In 1907 the first Leith Gala and Pageant was held, raising funds to pay for treatment at Leith Hospital before the days of the NHS. After the last couple of years, I think we are all acutely aware just how important our wonderful National Health Service is and also how much we value our community.

Here at Leith Festival HQ we spent the lockdown years, facilitating various online groups including a drama workshop, art classes and community food groups. We even launched our own podcast network in December 2021 thanks to the support of the Corra Foundation’s enabling neighbourhoods and communities grant.

We are excited to be bringing Leith Festival back into the real world and this year’s Gala Day & Pageant will take place on Saturday 11th June at Leith Links with a range of community stalls, crafts, traders, food vans and activities for all ages. We hope you are all ready, willing and able to come out and help us celebrate our wonderful, diverse, creative and supportive community.

There is so much to see and do in Leith this summer, with Leith Festival & Gala first up. Look for our official programme in local Leith Venues from the start of June.

Leith Festival Pageant 11am, Leith Links on Saturday 11th June

We are excited to welcome many of our community partners as participants this year; expect to see everything from the wonderful costumes and dancers of the Edinburgh Festival Carnival to the Think Circus youth performers showcasing some of their newly learned skills. The theme is PAST | PRESENT | FUTURE and the award for best-dressed entry returns in 2022. This will be announced from the main stage on Gala Day, so get creative! This is a free event - just turn up from 11.00am on Saturday 11th June to line the route around Leith Links to cheer on the participants!

Gala Day, Leith Links from 12 noon, Saturday 11th June

With performances and workshops from Think Circus, House of Jack, Messenger Sound System and so much more. Main stage acts include Stephen McLaren, Kathrine Aly, SheBeat, Colt Luger, Kaz Ali, Micro Band and The Phoenix Choir. Other highlights include Rhythm Stories for Children with Moving Music, the Safer by Sound tent and Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home return with a full programme of activities and their pet food bank.

Leith Festival Tattoo, Sunday 19th June

Akin to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, except it’s free for all to attend, and it takes place on the picturesque setting of The Shore

N.B. (Top pick from the ‘resting’ Editor: The Leith One Family play at Custom House and Leith Festival Art Club Exhibition Image Collective Gallery @ Ocean Terminal

Bringing Live Music Home

The pandemic has proved a rough old time for many people, including pubs and musicians. As places recover, it’s important to remember that both need each other more than ever. With that in mind, Calum Mackay, popular mine host at the Malt & Hops, Three Marys and Old Chain Pier decided to start a regular scene so that the best of local talent (and beyond) would have a decent opportunity to get going again and he has delivered on his promise… All gigs are free and there’s almost daily entertainment to be had: Mon/Tue Old Chain Pier, Wednesday Malt & Hops, Thur/Fri Three Marys finishing with Sundays at Three Marys and Malt & Hops. ■

There is more Sunshine on Leith at The King’s Theatre from 7th to 18th June


There is so much to see and do in Leith this summer, with Leith Festival & Gala first up


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