Performances for all at the Parliament

A programme of free entertainment has today (3 August) been launched by the Scottish Parliament as part of this year’s Festival of Politics. Everything from music to comedy – with poetry in between – is included in the Festival Café programme which aims to get people thinking, talking and tapping their feet.

For the first time, the Festival will feature the Festival Café where the Parliament will be transformed into a relaxed, informal space. Festival goers and visitors alike can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, whilst taking in the free entertainment or continuing the informed debate which has become such a hallmark of the Festival of Politics.

Playing on the opening night (Friday) will be That Swing Sensation playing big band dance classics. Performing on Saturday night will be the 2011 Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall, his second performance at the Scottish Parliament after his moving performance of Unforgettable in November 2012 for the launch of the Poppy Scotland appeal. Closing the café will be Mainstreet Blues Duo, whose combination of hot blues and cool jazz will bring to a close the Festival of Politics 2013.

Speaking ahead of the event Jai McDowall said:

“The Festival Café is a fantastic addition to the Festival of Politics and to Edinburgh’s vibrant festival scene. I am thrilled to be taking part in the free programme of activities and performing at such a unique and interesting venue.”

Other performers include folk singer Amy Duncan whose vocal style has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith, political comedian Steve Richards, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Jazz Quartet. There will also be book signings by some of the Festival panellists and exhibitions including ‘Boylng Point’ an exhibition by leading political cartoonist Frank Boyle as well as ‘Islay – 3×8’ a unique exhibition presenting three different perspectives of Islay.

Events include:

Friday 23 August

• That Swing Sensation

Saturday 24 August

• InChorus
• Amy Duncan
• David Hershaw
• National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Jazz Quartet
• Politics Live with Steve Richards
• Jai McDowall

Sunday 25 August

• The Sandy Brechin Band
• Main Street Blues Duo
• Poetry Slam
• The Banjo Lounge 4
• Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Arion String Quartet

Full details of the programme can be found at:


Opening on Friday 23 August, this year’s Festival of Politics looks at ‘Scotland’s place in the world’ with events exploring topics such as independence and economic issues, the future of Europe and small nations, Scotland’s defence capabilities and the future of immigration in Scotland.

More details can be found at:

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