Unbound with Edinburgh Gin Programme Revealed

Unbound with Edinburgh Gin Programme Revealed

Our free late-evening, live-literature strand Unbound is back to celebrate it’s tenth birthday this year, in an exciting new partnership with Edinburgh Gin. Over 16 nights from Sunday 11 to Monday 26 August our atmospheric Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens becomes a playground for poets, artists, authors, musicians, comedians and more on hand to entertain you with their talents late into the summer nights.

“Unbound has grown and flourished over the last decade,” said Roland Gulliver, Associate Director and programming mastermind behind the line-up. “There’s been dancing and joy, emotion and intimacy, spectacle and the odd heckle over the ten years, and the 2019 programme promises more of the same.”

Music is at the heart of Unbound with Edinburgh Gin, which has always revelled in the richness of the Scottish independent music scene. This year Glasgow-based Armellodie Records introduce Dan Lyth and Euphrates, The Scottish Enlightenment and Thirty Pounds of Bone who’ll perform alongside three of the world’s best short story writers: Nicole Flattery, Wendy Erskine and Kevin Barry on Monday 12 August. Night School Records will warm the night of 19 August with a journey to where love and romance collide, with music and readings from J. McFarlane's Reality Guest, Michael Amherst and Sean Nicholas Savage.

As part of Faber 90 celebrations artist Richard King celebrates landscape and music from post-war art to the 80s rave scene culture with members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Aidan O’Rourke and James Robertson’s 365 is a very special project which has brought together many voices and musicians over the last year to record all 365 stories and pieces of music. They invite a few of those who joined them on the journey for a night of celebration, stories and song.

Neu Reekie will explore the astonishing archipelago of Indonesia, spilling out of the Spiegeltent in their usual rambunctious style, offering a rare opportunity to experience some incredible international artists on 24 August. Unbound with Edinburgh Gin looks beyond Scotland’s borders and welcomes international artists and authors including Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangarembga and Donna Ogunnaike from Nigeria who are participating in the Festival’s Outriders Africa project. Scotland goes Basque introduces the unique poetry spectacle that is Bertsolaritza on 11 August – audience participation is guaranteed! Efe Paul-Azino, director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, hosts Finding Home on 22 August, a series of poems and conversations on migration and nationality with a multinational line-up from Iran, Canada and Nigeria.

Hip-hop and spoken word enliven the Book Festival’s balmy evenings. On August 13, inspired by Will Ashon’s blistering book on hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, BBC Radio Scotland DJ Vic Galloway presents a night with Joseph Malik, Callum Easter, Saskia Vogel, Heir of the Cursed, Dean Atta and his own band. The brilliance of Babble On brings one of Britain’s best poets Inua Ellams to stage his R.A.P Party on Friday 16 August; a night of hip-hop, dancing and poetry in a collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival and featuring poets including Theresa Lola, Rachel Long and Tania Nwachukwu.

One of the UK’s best poetry nights, the irrepressible Bang Said the Gun! noises up a Saturday night on August 17 with poetry that doesn’t follow the rules – described by Kate Tempest as “like mud wrestling with words”! Ted Hughes Award-winner Hollie McNish will, with some very talented friends, give an intimate and memorable performance of words and music on 15 August. 

The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers return to the Spiegeltent where it all began after another incredible year, the mud of Glastonbury fresh on their boots and their literary day jobs an even hazier memory. Edinburgh’s own Flint & Pitch close the Festival with a very special evening beneath the Festival Fireworks.

Unbound with Edinburgh Gin is free and there’s no need for a ticket. Each night begins at 21.00 but get down early to secure your seat. The bar will be open all evening, with Edinburgh Gin on hand to provide delicious refreshments and this year for the first time our Garden Bookshop will be open until 23.00 for you to browse. 

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