Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Scots Edinburgh Festival Fringe musicians offered cash

The Blueswater
Image caption The Made in Scotland scheme helps performers who are taking part in the world's biggest arts festival

Extra cash is being made available to support Scotland-based musicians perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Made in Scotland scheme helps performers who are taking part in the world's biggest arts festival.

Since 2009, £1.6m has been given out to 56 theatre and dance productions.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the funding is being expanded to support musicians, with an extra £100,000 available this year.

She announced the extra money as she met members of Edinburgh-based band The Blueswater whose performance at the festival last summer saw them collect a Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe award.

'Demonstrate commitment'

Ms Hyslop said: "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's biggest arts festival, attracting visitors and artists from all over the globe to experience the cultural and creative talent it has to offer.

"It makes strong economic sense to ensure Scotland's own exceptional talent is at the centre of the Fringe and our artists are given opportunities to benefit from the global exposure the festival brings.

"Through Made in Scotland, part of the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the Scottish government continues to demonstrate its commitment to doing exactly that.

"Expanding the scope of the scheme to support musicians is a natural next step for Made in Scotland. For the successful applicants, it will provide access to fantastic support, expertise, training and advice, exposure to esteemed international promoters and funding towards performing at the 2013 Fringe."

Felipe Schrieberg from The Blueswater said: "This kind of program is perfect for a group like us. We've worked hard to succeed at the Fringe with our show Blues! and with potential access to this kind of funding, we can work on putting together a more ambitious Fringe show."

Total funding for the Made in Scotland scheme this year has yet to be announced. Last year the Scottish Government provided £440,000.

The scheme is a partnership between Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the Federation of Scottish Theatre and arts body Creative Scotland.

Fringe programme

As well as supporting artists with the cost of performing at the Fringe, money can also be allocated to help Scottish artists or performing companies take up international touring opportunities arising from the Fringe.

Kath Mainland, chief executive of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said the festival provides "a unique platform for artists to showcase their work to the public and arts industry from all over the world".

She said: "Made in Scotland ensures Scottish artists can take full advantage of the significant international opportunity provided by the Fringe.

"Expanding the Made in Scotland programme to include music is a natural progression and one which sits very comfortably within the Fringe programme as a whole."

Caroline Parkinson, director of creative development at Creative Scotland, said: "I'd encourage musicians based in Scotland, ready to take the step onto the international platform provided by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to apply for this new support available through Made in Scotland.

"The tremendous successes enjoyed so far by artists working in theatre and dance who have been supported by the programme shows the potential opportunities now open to those working in music."

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