Taylor Swift kicks off summer of culture in the Capital

Culture and Communities Convener Val Walker writes in today's Evening News about Taylor Swift's upcoming concerts and summer of culture in the city.

In just a matter of weeks one of pop’s greatest global superstars in Taylor Swift will ‘shake it off’ and play an incredible three nights at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield stadium to some 220,000 adoring fans.

The only Scottish dates on the highly anticipated ‘Eras’ tour, this will also be a new record for attendees at a Scottish stadium. This is testament to the global appeal which Edinburgh commands, bringing the biggest and best artists to perform here.

However, we’re also conscious that events of this magnitude carry an inevitable level of disruption for our residents, so we’re determined to make things work smoothly for everyone. Our teams alongside our partners are already engaging with residents, businesses, and other key stakeholders and will continue to have these conversations going forward. 

We want everyone attending to truly enjoy themselves but also be mindful and respectful of those in the local area. In the coming weeks, we’ll be issuing guidance for residents, businesses as well as the visitors who are coming to our city for these shows. Detailed advice for ticket holders is already available on the Scottish Rugby Union website with everything from arrival times to safety and transport.

These three nights at Murrayfield are sure to go down in history as some of the most significant performances ever seen here in Scotland’s capital city.

Edinburgh is proud to be providing the highest calibre events and experiences for our residents and visitors. This was recognised earlier this year by the World Travel Awards where the city was named Europe's Leading Cultural City Destination 2024 and we’re already looking further ahead to a packed summer.

With the World Orienteering Championships and the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in July, through to the Fringe, Art Film, Book, Tattoo and International Festivals in August and beyond we’re truly spoiled for choice.

Alongside the tangible cultural impacts that our events sector brings to the city, these are also complimented by the significant economic benefits supporting jobs and businesses across the hospitality, leisure, and tourism industries. In 2022, our festivals alone contributed almost £500m in gross impact to the city’s economy which indicates the level of importance that they command.

Whilst the undeniable success of our festivals and wider events industry is something to be celebrated, we’re clear that we need to strike a balance with the needs of our residents and communities. This is why we’ve been championing the introduction of a visitor levy for the city; a small overnight charge has been common practice in other major cities and destinations for many years. The levy will provide a funding stream that would be reinvested in the city, its culture and heritage, alongside our infrastructure, to the benefit of our visitors and, crucially, the people who live here all year round.

In March we published the results of our engagement survey which showed that residents and community groups are particularly keen to see some of an Edinburgh levy reinvested in our cultural offer and towards enhancing essential public services, such as keeping the city clean and moving.

Edinburgh is a city with big ideas and ambitions and I’m really excited to see where we go from here.

Published: May 15th 2024