Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands

The medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town collide on World Heritage Day for one legendary musical battle - who will come out on top?

As Edinburgh begins to wake on World Heritage Day (18 April), competing medieval and classical Georgian-era music will flood the city thanks to wandering minstrels and musicians.

Costumed performers will pop up in locations across the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, such as Edinburgh Waverley, The Georgian House and the National Museum of Scotland, before meeting at St Cecilia’s Hall in Cowgate for a free lunchtime concert.

Hosted by representatives from the two sides, the musicians will be pitted against each other with interactive performances (and lots of audience participation). Spectators will be transported to the past through historical tavern and wedding scenes before ending the battle by choosing the victor.

In addition to a rousing concert, the event doubles as a special sneak peek. Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands will be the first public event in the newly-refurbished concert room and music museum. St Cecilia’s Hall was originally opened in 1763, and it contains one of the world’s most important collections of historic musical instruments. The museum has been closed for several years due to major redevelopment work, but will re-open to the public this spring.

Old Vs New Battle Of The Bands Credit Giata Medieval Music Phil Fitness

[Image credit: Giata Medieval Music - Phil Fitness]

Edinburgh Old Town and New Town is one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the Battle of the Bands is part the Scotland in Six celebrations on World Heritage Day. Other Scotland in Six events include a Romans vs. Picts 5K at the Antonine Wall in Falkirk and a yarnbombing challenge at New Lanark.

All of the action will be documented on social media throughout the day and you’re invited to follow the fun or join the conversation using #ScotlandinSix.

Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands is being coordinated by Dig It! 2017 as a Signature Event for Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, and is funded by EventScotland. Get your free ticket now >

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