Welcoming up to 8000 visitors a day, preparing for this year’s Military Tattoo and the impending influx of visitors expected for the Festival and Commonwealth Games, you’d think the staff of Edinburgh Castle had enough to keep them busy but this weekend the castle will host one of the biggest concerts of the summer.
BBC Live from Edinburgh Castle, presented by Alex Jones, features a superb line-up including Smokey Robinson, Il Divo, Alfie Boe, Rizzle Kicks, Taio Cruz, Jessie J, Katherine Jenkins, Paloma Faith, Culture Club and the Kaiser Chiefs. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC1 and on BBC Radio 2 across the UK.
For the Castle Team it means an additional challenge at one of their busiest times but as Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager, explains he has every confidence in his colleagues.
“The concert has been in the planning for almost 8 months now and has involved colleagues from admissions, events, guiding and conservation. Whilst we were always keen to host such a fantastic evening’s entertainment we needed to ensure that we could actually deliver an event of this scale during our busiest time in the season.”
The castle is used to hosting a myriad of events and has been delivering summer gigs in partnership with Castle Concerts for around 20 years now but this build has been one of the most ambitious to date. “The contractors moved in last Saturday and the build is continuing as we speak” said Nick. “This means that our Admissions Team is having to manage daytime visitors with military precision to ensure that everyone gets in to the correct queue and can gain access to the castle as quickly as possible. As always, we are making every effort to ensure our visitors have an enjoyable experience.”
“I have been so impressed with the flexibility of colleagues, who are more than happy to pitch in where needed. It has absolutely been a team effort and once again due to the hard work of our staff we are about to deliver yet another magnificent event .”
Of course everyone wants to know about the celebrities. What are they really like? Do they have huge entourages and riders as long as the royal mile? But more often than not, with busy schedules themselves, they often just arrive in time for their own performance. If any of the performers do drop in earlier though, the castle’s knowledgeable guides will be on hand to give them a tour of the castle and the stunning Honours of Scotland.
Despite the extra work involved Nick and his staff are relishing the opportunity to showcase their iconic venue to an international audience and to highlight its contemporary relevance as well as its historic importance.
For all involved it’s just part of the job and an opportunity to share their beloved castle with people from far and wide.
Tickets for the concert are still available. More information is available from Ticketmaster.
For the full line-up please visit the BBC website.