Free music, spoken word and comedy, inspired by Robert Burns, is coming to one of Edinburgh’s best known New Town streets with the inaugural "Red, Red Rose Street Festival". The government-sponsored event, running from this Saturday (21 January) to Friday 27 January 2017, aims to build on the traditional Burns Night into a week-long celebration of the words and music of the world-renowned Scottish bard. Burns Night this year falls on Wednesday.
On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January between noon and 4.00pm, Street Burns will entertain audiences with free musical performances along the length of Rose Street welcoming traditional Scottish musicians Aaron Wright, Puddin n Mash, Erin & Briony and Greg Aiken among others and visitors will have a chance to Meet the Bard at various locations over the weekend.
Quotations from Burns’ best-loved work hoisted on Rose Street and the “Bairns Burns Trail” will encourage families to discover Burns-inspired pictures from his most famous poems and songs in the windows of shops and businesses along the length of the street. Trail guides can be collected from the pop-up Burns Bothy at 116b Rose Street (between Frederick St and Castle St) from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January and the Bairns Burns Trail will run until Friday 27 January.
On Monday 23 January Braw Burns offers free traditional Scottish music performances at three venues in Rose Street. Audiences can enjoy the Edinburgh Burns and Scottish folk outfit The Gorms at The Black Rose Tavern, Kilter at Element and the resident folk collective at the Black Cat. All performances run from 7.00pm to 10.00pm.
On Tuesday 24 January Bletherin Burns, curated by Flint & Pitch and Fergus McNicol, offers free performances from song-maker and storyteller Kirsty Law, poet Iona Lee and Kevin McLean of Loud Poets at Patisserie Valerie from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.
From 7.00pm to 10.00pm singer-songwriter Craig Lithgow, poet and performer Catherine Wilson and one of the stars of the Edina spoken word scene Colin McGuire will be offering their interpretation of Burns in Element and in The Rosehip Fergus McNicol will be joined by Alan Lone, Claire McNicol and Ron Fairweather to weave their tales of Burns.
On Burns Night itself (Wednesday 25 January) Baby Burns provides songs, music and stories for children up to 4 years old at The Rosehip from 10.00am to 11.00am and again from 11.00am to 12.00pm. This is unticketed, free and drop in – first come, first served.
More free traditional Street Burns Scottish music performances will take place along Rose Street between 12.00pm and 2.00pm and again between 6.00pm and 8.00pm with musicians including Tina Avery, Richard Jenkins, Calum Baird, Aaron Wright, Euan Fleming, Erin & Bryony and Pudding n Mash. Visitors can Meet the Bard in various locations in Rose Street during the day when he will be reciting his most loved poems.
B Y O Burns leaflets can be picked up from all outlets in Rose Street giving details of how to hold your own Burns Supper, and many of the hostelries in Rose Street will be serving the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties that evening.
On Thursday 26 January local band The Tartan Scarfs will be performing at Element from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Also on Thursday 26 January, Gilded Balloon has curated an evening of comedy performances from 7.00pm over three different venues under the banner of Side Burns. Comics Chris Forbes, Scott Gibson, Scott Agnew, Billy Kirkwood, Robin Grainger and Michael Redmond will be performing sets at 1780, Milnes Bar and Amber Rose throughout the evening.
All performances in Braw Burns, Blethering Burns, Side Burns and Baby Burns are unticketed and free of charge – events available on a drop in, first come first served basis.
Full details of the programme of events can be found at www.redredrosestreet.co.uk.