Alexander O'Neal
Alexander O'Neal

So much to see at Fringe by the Sea

Fringe By The Sea, the festival with something for everyone – including a beach – has announced the full programme for 2019.

With over 160 events the packed Fringe By The Sea programme is set to delight residents and visitors to North Berwick and East Lothian.

There is music from chart toppers Alexander O’Neal, Inner City and Idlewild to some of the hottest Scottish acts around such as Be Charlotte and MALKA, as well as jazz, folk, a Pet Shop Boy tribute band and the foot stomping Cuban Brothers.

Major Minor Music Club returns with C Duncan, a grown up gig for all the family as does last year’s sell-out sensation Christine Bovill with a new show in which she cherry picks some of the most celebrated songs and stories from the Jazz Age.

North Berwick won’t be short of laughs with a line up including Reginald D Hunter, Fred MacAulay, festival favourite Simon Evans, ‘Scotland’s premier blind comedian’ Jamie MacDonald, Janey Godley and Glenn Moore who last year was a finalist for the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

Alexander O’Neal

Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark will be talking about her novel The House by the Loch, Peter Irvine, author of the best selling Scotland The Best tells tales of his travels around this country and Sue Lawrence has a new novel as well as a new cookbook to discuss. The Scottish author of the hilarious How to Kill Your Friends and The Amateurs, John Niven makes two appearances; first in conversation with Stuart Cosgrove to discuss the music that has influenced their lives, and secondly with his new book Kill ‘Em All.

The lunchtime ‘In Conversation’ sessions continue with Val McDermid (talking to Sir Menzies Campbell), Alexander McCall Smith and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown (talking to Lord David Steel). Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP will be looking back on his career in a lively conversation with The Spectator’s political correspondent and North Berwick High alumni Katy Balls.

Speaker Buzz has also gather a group of inspirational speakers to talk about what motivates them with Kylie Reid, Sara Sheridan, Jojo Fraser, Cal Fraser and Mollie Hughes. Fans of David Attenborough will want to book a ticket for his favourite cameraman, Doug Allen who has fascinating insights into the making of nature programmes.

Scottish Seabird Centre has series of environmental focused talks: David Steel on Isle of May, Hermione Cockburn’s Discovering the Deep, David Hetherington on the Lynx, Peter Cairns on rewilding Scotland, Charlie Phillip talks about dolphins and Cal Major looks at plastic waste awareness.

There’s always a big selection of events for little ones and this year is no different. Include in these events are top children’s authors Debi Gilori and Charlotte Lo, dinosaur expert Dr Ben Garrod, Mr Boom, Alexander The Great, Monski Mouse Baby Disco and classes on art, seaside science, kite making, ceilidh dancing and cookery. The Abbey Church will have a crèche Monday-Thursday from 10.45am-3.15pm.

Barefoot Sanctury provides a daily selection of sessions on Mind, Body & Soul and also meditation in the Lighthouse Spiegletent. For those wanting to get out and about Dave Berry will be leading his popular Walk The Toun events each day, there is a North Berwick in Bloom Garden Walk, a trip to North Berwick Law and a Coastal Safari with the East Lothian Countryside Rangers.

NB movies present a programme of Scottish films at the community centre – T2 Trainspotting, Ae Fond Kiss, Outlaw King with introduction by first assistant director/producer Danny McGrath, Ratcatcher and Connect which is set in North Berwick with introduction by director Marilyn Edmond.

Kirsty Wark

Fringe by The Sea has selected local businesses delivering the best of East Lothian’s produce with the maximum of love. Think gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, hand cut fries, and homemade seasonal soups from Wild at Heart; Scotland’s finest and tastiest fish and seafood with a modern twist from Hooked; healthy and delicious Indian-inspired hearty curries and light bites from Spice Pots; Big Blu’s wood fired perfect pizzas; Moules Frites from a horsebox; Alandas’ championship winning gelato ice cream and Hometown Coffee’s wonderful, speciality beans ground by attentive, passionate baristas.

Festival director Niall Middleton said: ‘This is a programme to bring people to North Berwick to see and hear some of the best entertainment talent around. We are especially proud of the huge amount of Scottish performers who are coming and look forward to 10 days of sun, sea and fun.’

For the second year running, Fringe By The Sea has partnered with Citizen Ticket. The Edinburgh-based ticketing platform will be providing guests with a simple and safe method of purchasing tickets, while their One Wallet feature, will allow event-goers who attend multiple shows to use just one unique code – rather than lots of individual tickets.

Citizen Ticket said: ‘After the success of working with Fringe By The Sea last year, we’re delighted to be back on board for 2019. We’re looking forward to returning to North Berwick with even slicker tech to help the festival run smoothly for both the operations team and guests.’

All Fringe By The Sea events can be viewed on Citizen Ticket at