Scottish festival to launch with a new name


EDINBURGH’S Festival of Spirituality and Peace launches on 18 June, when it will unveil its new ‘mystery’ name, together with a vibrant and engaging programme of culture and conversation for 2013.

The festival has been running for 13 years and attracts tens of thousands to 450 events across 21 venues.

The free public launch event in the Scottish capital takes place at St John’s Church, on the junction of Princes Street and Lothian Road, from 7-9pm.

There will be live music from harpist Mio Shapley; a blend of Balkan folk, Classical Arabic and Medieval Italian music from Duo Hyperborea, and high energy township gospel from a capella five-some Africa Entsha, who were discovered busking in Johannesburg.

Representatives of the festival’s two nominated charities for 2013, Mary’s Meals and Waverly Care, will speak at the launch, as well as Edinburgh Muslim women’s organisation, Beyond the Veil.

Twelve faith and non-faith participants will symbolically launch the programme with a blessing. These include representatives from Church of Scotland, Muslim, Sikh, Baha’i, Buddhist, Jewish, Pagan, Humanist and Hindu communities.

The festival, running from 2-26 August this year, includes a huge variety of performances, conversations, film screenings, talks, workshops, family events and exhibitions.

It amounts to annual celebration of culture, faith, philosophy and ideas, seeking to foster understanding and mutual respect for each other as individuals and as communities on a local and global scale.

The launch event is free but ticketed: book for ‘just the beginning’ via Eventbrite.

There will be facilities and assistance for journalists and media representatives at the event.