The Scottish International Children’s Festival

In 1997 it rained… and it rained. It rained so much in the days leading up to the festival that Inverleith Park developed an extra lake – right in the middle of the tents. Firefighters were drafted in to help pump out the floodwaters, and the newspapers had a field day.

Administrator Katie Stuart remembers, “I mean, May in Scotland: why would you?! It was spectacular: the flood sent water just running into the back of the tents. We had about four fire engines, and they got these great big hoses to suck up the excess water… but all the filters clogged up with worms. It was just awful. Then the army came in all their kit and their big boots, with these metal walk-ways they rolled out for the audience to walk on, because it was just a quagmire”.

The sludge spurred on Director Tony to make a major decision: the Festival would move away from the park and into Edinburgh’s theatre venues. In hindsight, he says, “the rain was ultimately a gift from up on high!” You can watch Tony speaking about his twenty years of Festival leadership (as well as the flood!) in the video below.

Do you remember…?

“Children’s Festival organisers plagued once more by hanging controversy” – the Festival made headlines with a programme containing challenging themes, and not for the last time. Jump to 2010 for more.

Key shows this year included Beumer & Drost’s Radio Men, the Armagh Rhymers’ Enormous Turnip and ferocious dance performance Tiger Tango.

Magic Bob!