Lammermuir Festival > News > Why would public funders support Festival?

Why would public funders support Festival? - Lammermuir Festival

The short answer is ‘just look at Edinburgh’.

Wherever you go in the world if you say ‘Edinburgh’  the next word from your interlocutor will be ‘Festival’  Strange, because the Edinburgh Festival as such doesn’t exist!  The Festival was created in 1947 by a far-sighted group who realised that a successful artistic enterprise would not just enhance the cultural life of Scotland but would, if successful be a major economic driver for the City of Edinburgh.

Look at pictures of Edinburgh in 1947 and compare it with today.


The wonderful thing for those of us who enjoy programming festivals is that they make complete and cost-effective economic sense: BUT ONLY IF THE PROGRAMME IS EXCELLENT!

The most recent survey of Edinburgh’s 12 festivals yields an economic impact of £261m per year for under £10m of public sector investment.

East Lothian Council has realised the cold, hard logic of supporting festival development in the county because it will yield media impact, tourism, demand for hotel beds, restaurants, taxis etc.  The wonderful thing is that this can be done cheaply and while having a good time!  Discussions between outgoing Chief Executive Alan Blackie and EventScotland have led to support for Lennoxlove Book Festival, Lammermuir Festival and Fringe by the Sea among others.  Very quickly East Lothian is featuring as a festival destination and this process, managed strategically, can only continue to develop.  In 10 years time I suspect there will be several new build hotels in the county.

James Waters – Director