Summerhall unveil 2021 Edinburgh Fringe programme

The independent arts hub have pulled together a programme of live music, theatre and dance for the August festivals

Article by The Skinny | 01 Jul 2021
  • Summerhall

Summerhall is our old stomping ground; in those halcyon, pre-pandemic days we'd work *tirelessly* on the magazine in our office at one end of the building, before putting down our crayons and sprinting to the Royal Dick pub at the other. The venue – usually hosting gallery spaces, gig rooms, event spaces, artists' studios, offices, multiple bars and a load of Fringe performers – was particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, but today they're unveiling a programme of live performance to take place next month. 

Music at Summerhall

The Summerhall 2021 Festival programme will take place in an outdoor pavilion in the venue courtyard, 6 to 29 August. There are twelve gigs lined up, showcasing some of Scotland's best bands and musicians. There are spots for SAY Award-winning indie duo Sacred Paws, genre-spanning guitarist Kapil Seshasayee, hip-hop mainstays Stanley Odd, and pop favourite Carla J Easton.

Some of Scotland's best songwriters are also involved, with slots for Siobhan Wilson, Withered Hand, Meursault, Hamish Hawk and James Yorkston, who'll be giving his new album The Wide, Wide River its first live airing in Scotland. The music line-up is completed by composer and producer Andrew Wasylyk, an EH-FM birthday celebration with Other Lands, and Bogha-Frois – Queer Voices of Folk, a project that platforms LGBTQIA+ musicians in the trad and folk scenes.

Fringe Theatre at Summerhall

Theatre-wise, the Summerhall programme includes a selection of live works in the courtyard, and a series of digital works that will be available live and on-demand. The in-person shows come from comedian Trevor Lock, theatre-maker Mamoru Iriguchi, poet John Hegley, musician and improviser Simon Thacker, pianist Will Pickvance, and the Swallow the Sea Caravan Theatre company.

The digital component of the programme includes work by a host of Summerhall faves from Fringes past. There's KNOT by Darkfield (a three-part immersive audio experience from the people who brought you shipping container-based scares in Flight, Coma and Séance); Grin and Wrapped Up In This by artist and director Mele Broomes; conceptual dance from Initiative IDK that commemorates Black Joy, Black Love and Blackness; a reprise of Fringe hit My Left Nut; and a series of midday blessings from Jo Clifford's Queen Jesus Productions.

There are also international contributions from The Taiwan Season and From Start to Finnish, and a whole lot more besides; head to the Summerhall website for the full programme.

Summerhall's 2021 Festival programme runs 6-29 Aug in the Summerhall Courtyard