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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
'People's Festival' line-up revealed
People's Festival 2003
The programme features more than 50 acts
The line-up has been unveiled for a festival in Edinburgh designed to bring entertainment "to the schemes".

Ticket prices for the Edinburgh People's Festival are pegged at 2 with performances in Wester Hailes, Gilmerton and Craigmillar.

Its organisers, which include the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), trade unions and local artists, said the event was a reaction to the cost of the Fringe and other festivals which are getting under way over the next couple of weeks.

Starting on 10 August, it features more than 50 entertainers including classical string quartet Capriccio, acoustic guitarist Tony Mitchell, poet Nicky Melville and a possible appearance by Fame Academy winner David Sneddon.

SSP MSP Colin Fox said the aim of the festival was to counter what he called "the silence in the schemes" as the rest of the city comes alive during August.

Escalating price

He said: "Of the Edinburgh Festival's 20,000 shows this year, virtually none takes place in the schemes.

"No leaflets are distributed there. No students unicycle up the Calder Road. No fire-eaters are found in the Fernieside.

"Furthermore, the escalating price of tickets now leaves many people feeling more and more excluded.

"The Edinburgh People's Festival will bring music and entertainment to an audience often ignored.

David Sneddon
Fame Academy winner David Sneddon featured in last year's line-up
"A courageous band of community activists and performers have dared to say it doesn't have to be silent in the schemes."

Last year, David Sneddon played a concert at the People's Festival with his band the Martians, a month before he went into the BBC's Fame Academy.

Mr Fox said the festival was now in the "late stages" of negotiations with Sneddon's management to secure a return appearance this year.

The Paisley chart-topper is scheduled to make an appearance at the Picnic In The Park concert in The Inch on 16 August.

The festival is also talking to Irvine Welsh about taking part in a debate on the role of culture in Scotland.

But Mr Fox insisted that the focus of the festival would still be on local talent.

"David Sneddon got his break last year, but in the first instance, we're giving a forum to local artists who have not been able to find an outlet for their talents," he said.

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