Artist Liaison at Edinburgh International Festival
I’m one of five temporary Artist Liaison team members at the Edinburgh International Festival who start work four weeks before each festival begins. It’s our job to absorb all the information about the artists we’re looking after that’s been collated by the year-round team over their many months of planning. Before the artists arrive into Edinburgh, we fine-tune the details of their arrangements including accommodation, travel and rehearsal schedule changes. While they’re in the city, we also take care of their well-being, getting to know them, their concerns and priorities so that we can act as an effective intermediary between the artist and the Festival team.
The relationship we build with our artists in the short space of time between them arriving into the city and getting onto the stage helps them to feel connected to the Festival, well supported, and ready to perform at their best.
It’s a very detail-oriented job, with many rooming list spreadsheets, overlapping arrivals and departures, early mornings, late nights, and last-minute changes. It’s also hugely pleasurable to work with such a wide variety of artists each year from different genres and countries, from individual soloists to vast orchestras.
What do you enjoy most about working for the festivals?
There are so many things I enjoy, but my overriding feeling always comes back to colleagues. My year-round job at Love Music is as part of a very small team where we all get involved in many different tasks, all working remotely. Moving to the International Festival office for an intensive seven weeks and being surrounded by so many people with such focussed specialisms is hugely inspiring. Over my summers, I love being a tiny part of such a big organisation, where every detail is looked after to create outstanding events. Getting to know the personalities and senses of humour of colleagues, especially in the more exciting problem-solving moments, is great fun. Every year, by the time the end of the Festival arrives, I feel like I’ve learned a lot and been on a huge adventure.
What is your favourite festival memory?
It’s too hard to pick one memory! Crying with laughter at my colleagues’ jokes in the artist liaison office will probably always be top of the list. Project-wise, I really enjoyed supporting the hugely talented musicians and complex arrangements of the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year programme in 2018. In terms of events I’ve been to, Norma with Cecilia Bartoli tops the bill in 2016. It was my husband’s first opera and – aside from the captivating performance – remembering the look on his face at the end as the on-stage fire started (intentionally!) will always make me smile.
What makes you proud to be a Festival City citizen?
It’s the feeling that I've played a small part in something so magical and transformative for so many people and have been a welcoming host to visitors to my city.