Just Festival looking forward to a high profile opening

By staff writers
August 2, 2013

The groundbreaking Just Festival, successor to the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, will be officially launched tomorrow with many high-profile contributors.

'Just starting' will feature a video contribution from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, messages of support from the Scottish Government, the European Parliament and Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh John Armes, plus participation from many civic, cultural and faith community guests.

The festival's dramatic side will be expressed in appearances from the cast of Tejas Verdes and Singing I'm no a Billy he's a Tim at its official opening at 6pm on Saturday 3 August 2013.

The event will be happening at St John's Church in Scotland's capital (corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road), the principle venue for the Just Festival.

It will give a flavour of both the performance programme of music, dance, theatre and spoken word, and the wide spectrum of topics on the conversation and discussion side.

The moving and critically-acclaimed play Tejas Verdes marks the 40th anniversary of the Chilean coup d’etat, while Des Dillon's modern classic Singing I'm no a Billy he's a Tim is one of three plays in the festival programme on the theme of Scottish sectarianism.

Guest speakers including Bishop of Edinburgh John Armes, James Temple-Smithson, Head of Office in Scotland of the European Parliament, and members of Sikh Sanjog minority women's project in Leith, who will be running Punjabi cookery workshops during the festival, will also appear at the event.

A ribbon will be cut declaring the festival open, heralding the start of its diverse programme of conversations, talks, films, workshops, family events, exhibitions and performance.

The Just festival aims to provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit and for building bridges between different communities.

Also known simply as Just, the festival runs from 2-26 August 2013 and is supported by civic, educational, church and faith groups (including the thinktank Ekklesia). Nearly 30,000 people are expected to take part over the month.

Ahead of its opening, it has already sold 150 metres of tickets to its 129 events across 450 performances and 27 venues.

* Free and open to all, 'Just Starting' will take place from 6-7pm in the atmospheric St John's Church on Princes Street, Edinburgh, followed by a reception in the hall until 9pm.

* For more information on Just Festival, visit http://www.justjust.org and http://justfestivalnews.blogspot.com

* Ekklesia is a sponsor of Just Festival. Our news, reporting and comment is aggregated at: www.ekklesia.co.uk/justfestival

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