Festivals the world over depend on sponsorship for the financial viability. The largest of them — the Edinburgh Festival Fringe — is no exception. For some time, it’s been associated with a locally brewed beer. That link — with Deuchars IPA — is set to continue having reached agreement to renew its support for the next three years. The beer will again be ‘the ale of the Fringe’ and available on cask in venues through until the 2015 event.Kath Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said that the Fringe was “…proud to continue our partnership with Deuchars IPA and are incredibly grateful for their continued sponsorship of the Fringe venue boards and maps, which help residents and visitors navigate their way around the city, making their experience of the festival even more enjoyable. The 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe promises to be the most exciting yet. Thousands of performers will visit the city this August, as well as audience members from across the world.”
For Stephen Crawley, Managing Director of the Caledonian Brewery, “having a world event in your home city makes the potential connection kind of obvious! We really value our associations with Edinburgh and both organisations are proud of their blend of history and modernity. Over the next three years we look forward to more tourists discovering and more locals enjoying a Deuchars IPA or two, whilst discussing the merits of the shows, which combined, make the Fringe such a brilliant event.”
This locally brew has been part of the “Scottish ale renaissance”. It’s known to be a favourite of people such as author Ian Rankin (not to mention his creation, Inspector Rebus) and comedian Russell Kane. It’s brewed by hand in an original Victorian brewhouse, which has Britain’s last remaining direct-fired open coppers.Meanwhile on the Main Festival, there’s change in the air. The Edinburgh International Festival has appointed the Irish-born Fergus Linehan to take over from Jonathan Mills as director from 2015. Until last year, he was the head of contemporary music at the Sydney Opera House. Before that, he’d been artistic director at the Sydney festival from 2004 to 20099; there, he was credited with increasing both audiences and turnover.
Linehan becomes director designate on May 1 and plans to move to Edinburgh next year, His first festival will be in 2015 and his initial tenure will last until 2019. If his interests in Australia are anything to go by, his appointment may lead to a change of emphasis in Edinburgh. His predecessors, Mills and Sir Brian McMaster, had focused on classical music and opera. Mr Linehan is known to enjoy pop, rock and world music so his festivals could see and the kind of eclectic pop that has been a feature of, for example, the Manchester international festival (which this year has the xx in residence, as well as an encounter between Massive Attack and Adam Curtis), has been notably absent.