Ruby Wax, Robert Peston and Graham Obree line up for Glasgow book festival…

GLASGOW’S annual book festival, Aye Write!, is to take on the turbulent world of 2018’s current affairs with a series of sessions with prominent journalists, writers and politicians.

Authors and writers at the festival, which runs from March 15 to March 25, will appear alongside Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the former Conservative cabinet minister, journalists Robert Peston and Evan Davis, the Labour politician Baroness Shami Chakrabarti and leading lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Writers appearing at the festival, which this year takes place in venues across the city including the City Halls, Glasgow University and the Tramway, include Val McDermid, Maggie O’Farrell, Ruby Wax, the Makar or National Poet, Jackie Kay, and Professor AC Grayling.

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Ticket sales at Edinburgh’s Christmas festival more than double in five years…

Ticket sales for Edinburgh’s main winter festival have more than doubled in the space of five years, according to new figures. Organisers have revealed that three quarters of a million tickets were sold for events in the city’s official Christmas programme for the first time.

Several new additions to the line-up of the six-week festival are thought to have helped boost sales by 13 per cent in the space of 12 months alone The winter festival was run for the fifth year in a year by promoters Underbelly, who sold 387,462 tickets in the first year of its contract in 2013. A record 781,520 tickets were sold for events in the most recent festival, with footfall figures believed to be up by at least 25 per cent over the same period. A new “frozen museum” attraction on George Street, an 80 metre tall “drop tower” which was visible across the city and the first ever festive run for hit Fringe cabaret show La Clique were all added to the programme this year.

The facade of General Register House, a prominent landmark at the corner of Princes Street and the Bridges, was turned into a giant advent calender during the festival.
Underbelly won permission to turn St Andrew Square garden into a temporary ice rink for the Christmas festival, despite a controversial ban on Fringe shows being staged there last summer.

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Message from the Skies…

1 – 25 January 2018

New Year’s Resurrection

See Edinburgh in a brand new light this New Year! Take a literary journey through the city, and read a new story, New Year’s Resurrection, by leading Scottish writer Val McDermid told through projections onto Edinburgh’s buildings and landmarks. 

Free event, no ticket required

In the first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival have commissioned Val McDermid to write a short story that will be told through projections onto buildings and landmarks around Edinburgh. McDermid will collaborate with dramaturg, Philip Howard, Edinburgh based projection company Double Take Projections and some of Scotland’s best soundscape artists to bring the story to life.

Message from the Skies runs from New Year’s Day to Burns Night.

Explore the city as you read, starting from The Signet Library, moving from location to location to discover the next part of the story. Each building or landmark is its own chapter, so you can enjoy the whole story in one evening or over a period of time.

The accompanying app, available at the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android), translates the story into seven languages (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Simplified Chinese and Spanish) and an audio description will be available for visually impaired visitors.  

See the winning entries of the Message from the Skies Short Story Competition projected from 02.01.18 at 4pm – 5pm daily at three of the locations in the story.

Commissioned and presented by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Produced by Underbelly and Pearlfisher, in partnership with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust.

Funded by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO fund.

Important Info

  • The starting point is The Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
  • This is a free event, no ticket required.
  • The projections will run daily from 1 to 25 January, from dusk 5pm until 10pm.
  • As this is an outdoor walking event in winter, please dress comfortably and for the weather.
  • Download the Message from the Skies App at the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).  Requires the following operating systems: iOS 10+, Android: 4.1+.
  • Full Terms & Conditions for the Message from the Skies App can be found here.
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