Dale MacPhee: 'I was desperate for him to call me up on stage!'

This article is from 2021

Dale MacPhee at the Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh

Waldorf Astoria general manager Dale MacPhee continues our Q&A series about the joys of Edinburgh's festival season

There are just a few weeks to go until the Edinburgh festival season gets into full swing, and our collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival continues with another weekly Q&A interview. Today, we present Dale MacPhee, general manager of the city's Waldorf Astoria on Princes Street. Here, Dale tells us about memories of Edinburgh's past, featuring her idol when she was a teenager, a mesmeric mentalist, and the city's euphoric atmosphere.

What are your first festival memories of Edinburgh?

My first festival was in 2013 and I was amazed by the city's vibrancy and endless entertainment that took place in each street that team members were taking me to. My first show was a stand-up comedy by Caroline Rhea, which I was so happy to see after being a fan of hers in Sabrina The Teenage Witch when I was a teenager.

What is your all-time favourite memory of Edinburgh during August?

The best memory I have from Edinburgh in August is definitely about this very special euphoric atmosphere. Watching people smiling while they exit a show and asking them which one they went to brings so much joy. It is also definitely the best way to share a magical moment with people around.

Can you name one person you met in Edinburgh during festival-time who truly inspired you?

Colin Cloud, the Scottish mentalist, definitely gave me the most impressive experience. During his show, I was desperate for him to call me up on stage! It was incredible to see how the audience was mesmerized by the actions he took. Being Canadian, I also very much enjoyed the satire about Trump.

If you could curate your own festival line-up for a day, who would you include? Anyone can be on there, dead or alive.

I would start with a conference from a novelist or political writer, followed by a symphony or a ballet at the Usher Hall, and end with a circus or motorcycle show with my son. Last but not least, I would have the perfect evening watching the fireworks from Princes Street Gardens.

What would you change to improve Edinburgh during August?

Currently, I just want our tourists and visitors back to bring life to the city again!

How makes Edinburgh unique compared to other arts festivals across the world?

The city, the people and their cheerful attitude, and, in the backdrop, the sheer variety of events taking place.

Part of The List's My Perfect Festival series, created in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival. Read more about other people's festival experiences here.