Highlights from the 2014 Fringe by the Sea festival

This article is from 2014

Highlights from the 2014 Fringe by the Sea festival

Rachel Sermanni

North Berwick-based festival programme includes Rachel Sermanni, Julie Fowlis and Eric Bibb

Henry Northmore samples the delights further out of town with Fringe by the Sea

The population of Edinburgh swells to more than 1 million during August, over double the number that usually reside in the Scottish capital. So, even when you are in full festival mode, you might want to get far from the madding crowd and take the opportunity to visit some of East Lothian’s picturesque seaside towns.

Luckily, Fringe by the Sea ensures that your coastal sojourn isn’t bereft of culture as they take over North Berwick (a mere 30-minute train journey from Edinburgh) for a week of music, theatre and comedy. Their music programme is particularly strong this year. Jazz and blues aficionados will find plenty to love with American guitarist / singer-songwriter Eric Bibb (5 Aug), Fife’s R&B stalwarts Lights Out by Nine (5 Aug), hot soul from Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band (8 Aug), big band swing from Fat Sam’s Band (9 Aug) and 60s beat pop combo The Manfreds (10 Aug).

Folk fans are in luck as there’s Gaelic song from Julie Fowlis (4 Aug), contemporary folk from Rachel Sermanni (7 Aug), sibling duo the Wrigley Sisters (8 Aug) and Scots favourites Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain (9 Aug). That’s just the tip of the multi-genre iceberg which also boasts ska from Bombskare (8 Aug), country at Session Americana (10 Aug) and opera at the Leuchie House Fundraiser (6 Aug) featuring pianist Matthew Brown and singers Kirsten Cairns, Sarah Power and Andrew McTaggart.

With kids events, author talks, walks, tours, comedy (including Phill Jupitus on 9 Aug) and a gorgeous sandy beach, Fringe by the Sea offers the perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and explore the surrounding area.

Fringe by the Sea, various venues, North Berwick, 07721 910982, 4–10 Aug.

Fringe by the Sea

With a spot of sea air and an entertaining line-up of music, comedy, theatre, film, author and children's events, North Berwick's multi-arts festival offers a respite from the madness of Edinburgh in festival season.