Ladysmith Black Mambazo to perform at Scottish Parliament as part of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit


Members of the public can apply for a rare opportunity to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo perform at the Scottish Parliament as part of a summit exploring how cultural policy is developed.

The 2nd Edinburgh International Culture Summit programme has been announced and will see culture Ministers and leading arts and culture experts from across the world gather from Sunday 10 – Tuesday 12 August 2014 to debate the issues prompted by the theme: ‘Culture – A Currency of Trust’. Ladysmith Black Mambazo will deliver a short performance in the closing ceremony on Tuesday 12 August.

During the three-day event, four sessions held in the Scottish Parliament’s Debating Chamber are open to the public. Public can apply for tickets through the public ballot system until noon on Friday 25 July.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:

“You only need to walk into our main hall and see the crowds gathered for the Great Tapestry of Scotland to understand the power culture has to engage people.

“It is therefore our great pleasure to host the 2nd Edinburgh International Culture Summit. We are delighted to offer members of the public this rare opportunity to hear from eminent speakers as they explore the power of culture on nations. It is particularly exciting to be able to offer the public the chance to hear world-class musicians performing in our unique Debating Chamber.”

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2014 is a collaboration between the British Council, Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and UK Government.

The full public programme is as follows:

Sunday August 10th

Opening Ceremony will include welcome speeches from the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP, UK Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport Sajid Javid MP and Sir Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Internationally-renowned musician Jordi Savall will play a selection of early music along with fellow musicians from Hespèrion XXI. Savall has been recognised as EU Ambassador for intercultural dialogue and advocates the use of music as a medium to achieve understanding.

Plenary One will begin with a powerful presentation from Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO - taking a long-term view on international advocacy, and Simon Anholt leading professor, thinker and practitioner on culture and influence on a global scale; followed by Saskia Sassen, writer and socialist, and Michael Power financial expert.

Monday August 11th

Plenary Two will present Benjamin Barber considering the Culture of the City; Nandi Mandela considering cultural identity as a ‘Source for Positive Change in a Global Environment’; Robyn Archer exploring what is meant by “the use of and value in the arts?” The session will be rounded to a close by choreographer Ea Sola, who will give a personal reflection on her work exploring traditional Vietnamese culture and emergence of the individual from collective thinking.

Plenary Three will pick up on the work of Basma El Husseiny who has promoted cultural exchange projects in the Arab region for over 20 years. Danilo Santos de Miranda, Sao Paulo Director of Brazilian Arts Funding Agency SESC considers the unique and hugely successful SESC model. Paul Carter explores different cultural forms, artistic practices and design to create new public ‘situations’ and Kent Larson will round the session off with his speech on new technologies for urban data observation.

Tuesday August 12th

The Summit concludes with the Closing Plenary. Rapporteurs will summarise the various presentations and discussions of the Summit with Sir Nicholas Kenyon on Values and Measurements, Professor Louise Richardson on Cities and Culture; and Bridget McConnell on Advocacy and Identity.

There will be an opportunity for delegates and participants to respond with comments from the floor. Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council and Sir Jonathan Mills, Director and CEO Edinburgh International Festival will give thanks.

There will be a final artist performance from the award-winning a cappella vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, described by Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s cultural ambassadors. The Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, Presiding Officer Scottish Parliament will draw the Summit to a close.

Public Gallery

Tickets can be applied for via email at or by writing to Public Ballot, Edinburgh International Culture Summit, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP.

The public are asked to clearly indicate which of the sessions they would like to attend by Friday 25 July, 12 noon and will be notified of their allocation by Tuesday 29 July.

Members of the public can keep up to date with Summit progress via the live stream on the website – and via Twitter on @culturesummit

Background provides information to delegates, visitors and all those with an interest in arts and cultural policy. It also hosts opinion articles from leading cultural figures from around the world, as well as live video streaming from the three day event.

The Culture Summit is now set in the international cultural calendar as a biennial event, following on from the success of the 2012 Summit which 33 countries attended. The 2nd Summit aims to build on these strong foundations to encourage further sharing of ideas, debates and future collaboration and amplify the idea that culture is a bridge that enables dialogue between nations, in a broad range of contexts.

It will once again take place in August in the Scottish Parliament building with the vibrant cultural backdrop of the Edinburgh’s Festivals in full swing. Culture Ministers, artists and art leaders will have the opportunity to attend world class performances and events, which attract audiences from more than 70 nations.

Supporting the Summit and adding extra colour and depth to the theme ‘Culture – A Currency of Trust’ will be new programme partners the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), launched in 2000 by His Highness the Aga Khan; Asialink at The University of Melbourne; and the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Committee on Culture – Agenda 21. These partners will widen the reach and range of the Summit’s global cultural conversations.

Contact information

Media information

Public information

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  • Text 07786 209 888
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