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 woke on World Heritage Day (18 April), competing medieval and classical Georgian-era music flooded the city thanks to wandering minstrels and musicians.

Costumed performers popped 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 were pitted against each other with interactive performances (and lots of audience participation). Spectators were 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 doubled as a special sneak peek. Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands was the first public event in a 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 was closed for several years due to major redevelopment work, but has finally re-opened to the public, with a beautiful building and a fascinating range of musical instruments from the ages and other objects on display.

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

[Image credit: Giata Medieval Music - Phil Fitness]

Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together make up one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the Battle of the Bands was 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.

You can follow the conversation on social media using #ScotlandinSix.

Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands was coordinated by Dig It! 2017 as a Signature Event for Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, and was funded by EventScotland. 

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