Edinburgh Fringe – the biggest arts festival in the world! The city is filled with 10s of 1000s of different performers, and it is the perfect opportunity for performers to showcase themselves and perform to international audiences.
We thought about what our show would look like and how long a run we thought we could manage. In true Tinderbox style, we decided to GO FOR IT and decided on a 13 show run over the first three weeks of August with 10 different collaborators and a catalogue of brand new compositions. We were lucky enough that our friends at the Pianodrome were taking over the Old Royal High for the summer (including the fringe) and gave us the opportunity to take over the Grand Hall – a room once intended to be the debating chamber for the Scottish Parliament.
Our collaborators for the fringe were a huge mix of artists that we have worked with before, members of the collective who have their own music projects and some brand new collaborations too.
We had Chinese alternative folk-punk artist Song Yuzhe in the opening weekend. Followed Trad-inspired indie folk singer ‘Housekind’, Edinburgh based psychedelic rock band ‘Duke Duncan and the Hurricanes’, Electro-pop Artist PINLIGHT and Indie singer songwriter Brave Little Note. And in the final week, we finished things off alt- folk duo Jellyman’s Daughter, rap and poetry collective ‘ Culture Clan’ and improvisational trio (and also Pianodrome’s creative directors) S!nk.
We were also joined with drummers and puppeteers from Kathputli Colony an extraordinary community of traditional artists in Delhi that we met and collaborated with online through a project called The Samata Sessions which you can read more about here.
After lots of work from our marketing team (Somya and Leo – you wonderfully talented humans!) and selling the show to EVERYONE we knew- it was SHOWTIME.
I can really put into words adequately, the feeling I had on the opening day of our show. ‘WAS THIS A GOOD IDEA?’, ‘ARE PEOPLE GOING TO COME?’ ‘HAVE WE REHEARSED ENOUGH’? I wasn’t sure at all. However, I did know that I was surrounded by incredible musicians who had worked really hard to create an exciting and unique showcase of wonderful music. And even if we had a small audience or made a few mistakes- it wouldn’t REALLY matter because we were doing something exciting and new AND we were getting to do it together.
The doors were open and the audience started piling in, I kept waiting for the queue to die down but it didn’t and very quickly the room filled up. Our first show and an audience of 130 people came along to support us. The music started and the energy in the room was electric. The set flew by and what felt like a minute later was the end of our first show and the audience were on their feet to meet us with a standing ovation. I looked around the room in amazement as pure pride and joy waved over me. We had done it! The first show was a success.
From then on, our show was met with standing ovations and sold-out crowds. Friends, family, colleagues, young people from our youth projects and their families all came to support along with new audiences- people who had seen us busking during the day or people who had read about us or seen us play at a festival over the summer. It was exhausting and a huge amount of work but more importantly, it was inspiring, exciting and also gave us this unique opportunity to hang out together all month- socialising, making music and having FUN.
A friend of mine who came to see the show said ‘I just kept crying because I’ve never seen so many people on stage performing together who just look like they all love it and each other so much’ and that’s exactly what it was like. I think about it constantly- how lucky I am that I get to stand on stage and perform such amazing music with such a wonderful group of people.