Sunday, 4 August 2013

Hundreds turn out for Just opening

SEVERAL hundred people packed St John's Church in Edinburgh last night (3 August 2013) for 'Just Starting', the opening event for Just Festival 2013.

Just director Katherine Newbigging and chair of board Raymond Baudon introduced and narrated the evening, with Raymond officially declaring the Festival, which has already been running for two full days, well-and-truly open.

There was inspiring music from award-winning a capella outfit Africa Entsha, North East Japan Spirit, Sing Caledonia (the play challenging sectarianism), Kantara and the Voice of Hope Choir (introduced by Karen Docwra).

Messages were delivered or read out from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (highlight Soweto Melodic Voices particularly), James Temple-Smithson from the European Parliament, Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh John Armes, and Scotland's Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham.

A dramatic contribution came from Tejas Verdes, marking the 40th anniversary in September of the bloody 1973 coup in Chile.

The community angle was represented both by the huge range of civic dignitaries present for the occasion, and also by Sikh Sanjog, who will be providing culinary classes during Just.

More pics, reports and video to follow.

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