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On A Mission with Edinburgh Music Lovers

New boutique promoter, Edinburgh Music Lovers, launches in partnership with mental health charity SAMH announcing two exclusive gigs for Edinburgh.

A new boutique promoter, Edinburgh Music Lovers (EML) has launched, its mission to help make the capital a thriving music city – and to support mental health.

Formed by former music journalist and marketing specialist Jim Byers, EML will stage eclectic events featuring national and local artists, programme music and events for venues, and curate local music news and content. Its plans include a flagship annual music festival for Edinburgh, but its main focus will be on helping to develop Edinburgh into a thriving music city for locals, and a must-visit destination for the growing music tourism market. Byers’ goal is to help make Edinburgh one of the most exciting cities for music in the UK and beyond.

EML kicks off with two exclusive live music events for Edinburgh, featuring debut appearances in Scotland by two critically acclaimed artists. SFD Stetson – Fox – Dunn, the experimental instrumental trio of virtuoso American musicians fronted by bass saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, film composer and collaborator extraordinaire Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The National) perform at Summerhall on Saturday 29th Sept.

Colin Stetson, photographer Peter Gannushkin

On Nov 11th East London rapper, Kojey Radical brings his explosive live experience to The Caves, Edinburgh as part of his Can I Speak UK tour. Kojey stormed into 2018 with a stream of incredible new music including If Only exploring his struggle with depression, and Water featuring rising R&B talent Mahalia.

Jim Byers said: “For our first events, we wanted something special and we’ve curated two extraordinary acts. We’re incredibly proud and excited to bring Colin Stetson and Kojey Radical to Edinburgh. Both events are exclusives for Edinburgh and feature two of the most intense and incredible musicians we’ve ever seen.”

Through its events, EML will raise awareness of mental health and funds for its partner, the Scottish Association for Mental Health,  SAMH

The theme of music and mental health stems from the experience of EML director Jim Byers, a former music journalist and marketing director from Edinburgh. His father committed suicide when he was 10, an event that had a lasting impact on his own mental health and led to struggles with depression in later life.

He said: “Music has always played an extremely important part of my life, especially in helping to change or improve my mood. As evidence shows, live music in particular can provide a hugely uplifting experience. We hope that our events and work will help other people.”

Fiona Lewis, Corporate Partnerships Manager at SAMH said: “We agree that music can have such a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and contributing to good mental health. Thank you to Edinburgh Music Lovers for standing with SAMH for Scotland’s mental health. We are proud to be working closely with EML and the music community in raising awareness of mental health and funds for SAMH.”

EML aims to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to help create a supportive environment in which music culture can thrive – one which supports all aspects of the scene from record shops, recording studios and labels to local acts and venues.

Despite suffering several venue closures, problems with restrictions on noise and property development, Byers believes that Edinburgh is now hitting an upward curve for live music. In addition to Edinburgh’s core venues, such as Sneaky Pete’s, The Mash House, The Bongo Club, La Belle Angele, Summerhall, The Liquid Room, The Queen’s Hall, The Playhouse and the Usher Hall,  several venues are emerging that will enhance the city’s scene including: Leith Theatre, The IMPACT Centre, the refurbished Rose Street Theatre, The Old Dr Bells Baths, a proposed new venue from music charity Neko Trust and the planned redevelopment of The Ross Bandstand.