Festival preview: Festival Café Bar
We pore over an excitingly diverse selection of entertainment being laid on during the Festival of Politics weekend
This article is from 2015.
Every festival needs a hub, a place to congregate, consume and discuss before moving on to your next show or event. At the Festival of Politics in mid-August, the Festival Café Bar, now enjoying its third outing, is that hub.
Under the café-bar’s roof on 15 August is a strong selection of music, including 18-year-old Highlands singer Cileas McMaster who performed two numbers at last year’s Parliament Day initiative. Look out for her in 2016 as she takes part in BBC’s The Voice after wowing judge Ricky Wilson during auditions in Fort William. Edinburgh R&B band the Blueswater bring us the sound of old-school Chicago and in the unlikely event that you fail to enjoy them, don’t even bother to heckle: they were house band for the last two years at the notorious comedy bearpit, Late‘n’Live. If film is your thing, there’s a chance to see 12 Years a Slave, All the President’s Men and Made in Dagenham.
Sharp moves come from the Sikh Sanjog Dancers who offer an inimitable brand of fired-up Bollywood funk, while live literature at its finest arrives in the shape of Rally & Broad led by the superb Rachel McCrum and Jenny Lindsay. The following day is known as Acoustic Sunday with Folksville, an afternoon of music hosted by Prairie Rose & the Wildwoods and featuring the likes of the Bowhill Players.
There’s an addition to the FoP cultural vibe this year as the Festival Youth Café opens its doors on 15 August featuring a non-stop array of free events. A key element is the opportunity to sign up for free 30-minute workshops during the afternoon covering vlogging, filmmaking, cartooning and (should the stage urge take you) performance poetry.
At 2pm, award-winning author Cathy MacPhail will be discussing her teen thriller Mosi’s War and reflecting on her novel Another Me being turned into a movie starring Sophie Turner, best known as the ill-fated Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. If you fancy turning your hand to recording and mixing music, the Buzz Project Bus will be parked outside the Parliament. In true TARDIS style, the vehicle contains something surprising inside: a state-of-the-art recording studio.
Festival of Politics, Scottish Parliament, Horse Wynd, 0131 348 5200 / 0800 092 7600, 14–16 Aug.