Misplaced intents

Monday, 20 February 2017

Dear Spurtle 

With regard to your misgivings over redevelopment of the Ross Bandstand and surrounds (9.2.17;15.2.17), recent comments from John Donnelly of Marketing Edinburgh are at odds with the Ross Development Trusts careful emphasis on the site’s ‘sensitivity’ and the ‘core objective’ of ‘returning space to garden use’.

‘While Edinburgh can host amazing one-off gigs such as Hogmanay or in venues like Edinburgh Castle, BT Murrayfield and Meadowbank, when it comes to year-round venues, we are limited to the smaller spaces such as The Liquid Rooms and Cabaret Voltaire’, says Mr Donnelly (Edinburgh Evening News, 15.2.17). ‘This is a real opportunity for Edinburgh to raise its musical stakes and give the city a flagship music venue that is available 12 months a year.’

If accommodating a year-round flagship music venue is ‘garden use’, I presume there must be a permanent party marquee parked in Mr Donnelly's own backyard.

David Young

(India Street)

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 Murray Chesney-Stroak Year-round?! Oh Lord give me strength!

 Paul Foley I detect a hint of nimbyism...

 Broughton Spurtle Well, kind of … not in OUR back yard, perhaps.

 Paul Foley Lol

 Colin Brown When we first got the Xmas market, I thought it a welcome addition to the city's life. Then we got the big wheel, which was quite fun. Then the market extended into the East Gardens, which felt like a bit much, and the ice rink seemed to take up more room. Then we gained, and then lost, St Andrew Sq to shenanigans at Christmas, during the festival and beyond. It feels as though the city becoming a playground has got out of hand, and that our treasured public spaces are no longer for the benefit of all, with recovery times for the turf extending ever longer. Now this - which is a bit difficult. The bandstand isn't really very pretty, and it takes up a lot of space. It's not used very much. But the West Gardens are, apart from this space, quiet and lovely, with fine vistas. I wonder what "year-round" means. And I wonder to what extent design improvements will really be improvements.

 Dominic Berry I am sure the Ross Development Trust has the best intentions, but if the current building is replaced by a substantial theatre with the capacity to accommodate large pop concerts, then you can forget about brass bands or string quartets: large pop concerts is what will happen, and the gardens will be turned into Glastonbury and its lawns to mud. This is why the plan must be opposed. If the bandstand is to be replaced rather than simply removed, then it should be replaced not with a theatre but with a bandstand, of the kind that most 19th century parks in Britain have, i.e. a round flat platform with a high roof held up with narrow supports. For those people who want a major venue for Glastonbury-style concerts or "gigs", find somewhere else in the city or outside of it. For those who want the sort of music that is traditionally played in parks, a real bandstand could be provided in Princes Street Gardens by the Ross Development Trust (and it wouldn't cost £25 million either).

 Conrad Rossouw But isn't it all about the money for the council?
 Dominic Berry I fear you are right, Conrad. And all sorts of commercial / retail interests are quick to scent an easy profit at the expense of the public good.

 Jane Ellis We need a music venue in Edinburgh. No one can use the gardens at night anyway because they are locked. I don't see why they can't be gardens by day and venue by night. It would also bring people to a part of town that's dead at night (and is going to suffer more soon if all the shops move to the new at James), it'll be a good use of the trams. There's not many folk living nearby to be disturbed by noise or by crowds coming and going.

 Euan MacGuzzi McGlynn You are very wrong there people do live close by and put up with enough diturbance over the year without this stupid idea. This is Scotland where it is cold and wet most of the year. The idiots that run our council have had numerous opportunities to develop an indoor music venue but have failed. This is the capital city not some backwater.
 Rhona Stewart Cameron How wrong you are. There's lots of people living nearby and put up with an awful lot and as for bringing people into town every night, I take it you are not up town every night as the place is hoaching with loads of noisy drunk people and this goes on until 4 or 5 in the morning.

 Rhona Stewart Cameron No, no, no! Why can't they realise city centre gardens were supposed to be places for a relaxing walk and not somewhere to avoid. I like the unobtrusive old building. I'm sure they could keep and renovate the central part and design something better for the two end buildings but please no year round gigs.