The Meadows Festival returns to Edinburgh on Satuday 4th – Sunday 5th June.  The event will offer live music, a funfair, entertainment for children, stalls, and even a dog show.

For the first time in its history, the festival will be opened by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, George Grubb. The official opening will be held on  4th  June at 12.30.

Highlights of this year’s festival include a dog show which will provide free microchipping for every participant, and a music stage coordinated by Ten Tracks whose proceeds go to the Save the Forest Cafe campaign.  Meanwhile local microbrewery William Bros Brewing will be launching their new ginger flavoured beer.

The festival is a registered charity and therefore is solely reliant on volunteers and sponsors.

 “There are about 40 volunteers this year”, Stage Manager Daragh Lynch told us. “the committee who organises the festival every year is made up of 10-15 people, and we meet every month all year round to plan the festival.”

Most of the people on the committee are former volunteers.

“We are a open group”, Mr Lynch says.  “Everyone who wants to bring in their own suggestions and plans for future festivals is more than welcome to come along to our meetings.”

However, one of the festival’s eternal struggle is that for financial security.

“This year it cost close to £ 25,000 to set up the festival,” Mr Lynch said.

Athough the festival is partly sponsored by the City of Edinburgh Council and various Community Councils, its future is never certain.

“Everyone in Edinburgh knows the Meadows Festival,” Mr Lynch points out.  “There was a big fuss about the meadows getting destroyed due to so many events taking place at the meadows all year around, so the council cut back to only four events that are allowed to take place – and we are one of them. Not even the marathon is allowed to lead through the meadows any more.”

The festival has been part of the Edinburgh summer since 1974.  It was stopped in the late 90s due to lack of interest and volunteers, but started up again four years ago and has been as successful as ever.

“People come to us and thank us for reviving the Meadows Festival again,” Mr Lynch adds.  “They have been going ever since they were children.”

To get you in the mood for the weekend, why not look at these videos from last year:

Meadows Festival 2010

Meadows Festival 2010 Banana Sessions