Last weekend would have been the Meadows Fair if not for the Lockdown. The Meadows Fair, as it says on the tin, is held in the Meadows a well-loved parkland area on the Southside of town, always on the first full weekend of June. I say always but in the last few years there has been some doubt as to it’s continuation as the council, well, behaves like it does!
See the Meadows Fair is just a lovely local event for local people, there’s no big sponsors or money in it, tourists don’t come for it – ah, of course, that’s why the council are so unhelpful, it’s just for locals! Not that you wouldn’t be very welcome should you be in Edinburgh, dear hearts, everyone’s very welcome but like I said, it’s not a big flashy event, it’s a free, volunteer-run grassroots affair; various stages with live music, kids’ activities, a dog show, performers, a beer tent, some of the best bric-a-brac stalls you will ever see along with plenty other stalls (and the usual overpriced food stalls) and a travelling fair always sets up beside it just off Melville Drive on the Marchmont side.
Apparently it was founded in 1974, and plenty of folk look like they dig out their old 70s gear to wear for it! Hippy Central it is. Many just chill out in front of the main stage, the odd few have a wee boogie-about, you can always stretch your legs by a wander round the stalls. At the other end of Middle Meadow Walk is a smaller but equally loud stage showcasing young upcoming local bands, worth checking out, the sets are quite short so if one band isn’t to your fancy, don’t worry, there’ll be another along shortly!
People come back year after year, the once young hedonists come back pushing buggies, trying to be hip-cool with their teenagers, sharing a beer with grown-up kids each reminiscing their times at Fairs gone-by. Of course, even though it wasn’t on this year I just had to take a trot up there and boy, the locals were out in numbers (all observing social distancing, I hasten to add). There were family groups, flatmates, couples, plenty sitting one chatting to another at the appropriate distance, it was really good to see. The whole area was dotted with folk enjoying a summer afternoon in the park.
One thing though, I’ll bet the folk on Saturday left all sorts of rubbish behind! I was always taught from very young to never litter, even if the bins are full, no excuse, take it home! At the end of both days of the Meadows Fair a small army of volunteers go round collecting up all the rubbish leaving the place spotless (frankly there shouldn’t be any on the ground as there are plenty of bins). There’s also donation buckets going around, I always give to help this marvellous institution survive another year.
Roll on the 5th of June 2021!
On checking a few factoids I’ve noticed it’s officially called the Meadows Festival, well I’ve always known it as the Meadows Fair and thats what i intend to keep calling it!