A petition has been set up to save the popular event, which may fall foul of new rules regarding space at the public parks.
The issue surrounds the use of Princes Street Gardens, two public parks in the centre of the capital. Though the festival has run successfully at the parks' Ross Band Stand venue for three years, the council is now threatening to impose strict new restrictions regarding space and layout, which would force the event to shrink its capacity by a third, ultimately rendering it unviable. Other more high-profile concerts scheduled for the venue—feature the likes of Primal Scream, Florence & The Machine, Madness—will go ahead as normal.
"Diversity and youth culture is at risk of being nullified just as Edinburgh was starting to get back on the map internationally," FLY Open Air founder Tom Ketley told Resident Advisor. "It's such a shame that the council think it's okay to take such a drastic, backward step against an event that has never seen any issues whatsoever. The move is not only brutal for young people in our city—who won't be able to use the bandstand, which is a public space specifically built for concerts—but it would also mean the end for us as a business and put four people who work full time out of work."
He continued: "I currently feel like we have the biggest shows in Scotland in what are some of the most unique venues in the world, yet there seems to be one rule for the older middle class looking to go and watch Tom Jones and another for us. It's grossly unfair, and we're urging our community to get behind our petition and make our voice heard."
A Change.org petition has been set up to help save Fly Open Air. Sign it now.
In addition to Princes Street Gardens, FLY Open Air Festival takes place annually at Hopetoun House, a country house about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh. Recent guests across both events include Sven Väth, Nina Kraviz and Denis Sulta, whose career began at FLY Club, the party series from which the festival was born.
Another classic council move trying to dilute youth culture. Please sign this and help protect FLY Open Air.https://t.co/C6fWtcSEBa— Hammer (@thehammerhits) June 11, 2019
Please sign. Edinburgh needs this. We had years of mediocre cheesy "tartan biscuit tin" acts playing there for yeears. Fly have actually been using the space in a progressive way for younger crowds (and well managed) for the first time ever. Would be so sad if this got shut down https://t.co/dTlkNfwrD7— Eclair Fifi MP (@eclairfifi) June 11, 2019