Popular ongoing gig series AMPLIFI, created by The Queen’s Hall and We Are Here Scotland and funded by The City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland, won the Inclusion Award at the Creative Edinburgh Awards on Friday 18 November at Summerhall.
The series exists to provide a platform for Black musicians and musicians of colour in Scotland, with each gig featuring a triple bill of rising artists. The second season of gigs kicked off earlier this month with a rousing show by headliner Danny Cliff, with support from Rosé Chrissy and Eyve.
The shows have featured artists from across multiple genres, carefully curated by Arusa Qureshi and Halina Rifai of We Are Here Scotland, and included BBC Radio Scotland Scottish Act of the Year Bemz and SAY Award nominees AiiTee and Hen Hoose.
The Creative Edinburgh Awards are hosted by Creative Edinburgh who, since 2012, have been celebrating the city's creative community, highlighting the projects, people and places that flourish across Edinburgh and working to ensure its place on the cultural map, nationally and internationally. The Inclusion Award celebrates projects and organisations that have worked hard for their work to reflect the diversity of the city. Artwork featured here was done by Chiara Celini.
The next AMPLIFI gig is on Wednesday 7 December and features Queen of Harps, Stephanie Lamprea and Sagnick Mukherjee. Subsequent lineup announcements are coming soon.
Co-curator Arusa Qureshi said: “Working with the Queens Hall on AMPLIFI has proven to us what we've always firmly believed: that contemporary music in Scotland is varied, vibrant and packed with talent that deserves recognition. We've had artists involved from a range of backgrounds and genres, some just starting out and others more established, but each gig has been special because of the sense of community the series fosters. We hope that AMPLIFI can continue to be a warm, welcoming and safe space for audiences to discover and enjoy new artists and we can't wait to invite more of our favourite musicians to take part!”
Evan Henderson, Chief Executive of The Queen’s Hall said: “Our new performance space is tailor made to showcase talent in an intimate environment while welcoming entirely new audiences to our venue. The future of Scottish music is diverse and exciting, and I’m pleased The Queen’s Hall is playing a part in that.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “There’s so much talent in Scotland that doesn’t get a chance to shine on our bigger stages. With expert curation and a true passion for music, AMPLIFI has broken down barriers and brought an inspiringly diverse set of artists to one of the capital’s most prestigious venues. The purpose of Creative Scotland’s funding support for AMPLIFI was to build new audiences and create new opportunities, and it’s heartening to see that reflected in this award. Congratulations to Arusa, Halina and all the artists who have taken part.”
Beata Skobodzinska, Diversity Officer at City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We are beyond excited that this joint endeavour led by Arusa Qureshi and Halina Rifai has become a great new platform for profiling local diverse talent. AMPLIFI has enabled us to better engage with emerging artists, increase access to professional performance spaces and offer our local and visiting audiences a new exciting homegrown live music experience that promotes greater representation of genders, genres and generations in the arts and culture sector. We are looking forward to seeing how this initiative develops and contributes to reviving and transforming opportunities for performing arts in our city.”