Events at Princes Street Gardens to be limited over rockfall fears

Major events will be limited to four per year.

Events at Princes Street Gardens to be limited over rockfall fears iStock

Large events at Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh are to be limited due to concerns over rockfall from the castle.

Major events in the garden will be limited to four per year until a permanent solution to the issue is found, council officials say.

An entrance to the gardens from King’s Stables Road has been closed since 2019 due to fears over falling rocks.

A year previously, a man in his 30s was seriously injured after being hit by a falling rock while walking along the Castle Terrace footpath.

The move to limit the number of events taking place also seeks to minimise any environmental damage to St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, which has been used as an access route.

Events including the annual Edinburgh Summer Sessions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future following the decision.

Councillor Val Walker, culture and communities convener, explained that smaller events held in the Ross Bandstand are not affected.

“With the return of an evolving events sector following the pandemic, we have had to revise how event organisers access and use the Gardens and the Ross Bandstand for events and concerts,” said Walker.

“The primary reasons are the necessary closure of the goods entrance to West Princes Street Gardens at King’s Stables Road due to rockfall and our commitment to increasing our environmental protection measures.

“Until a more permanent solution for the rockfall is found, these guidelines will limit major events in the garden to four per year.

“This will maintain viable vehicle access for event organisers whilst minimising disruption to the public use of the park, supporting our environmental protection of the Gardens.

“Smaller events taking place in the Ross Bandstand itself remain unaffected.

“By clarifying these guidelines we hope event organisers and community groups will have all the information they need before applying.”

Geoff Ellis, chief executive of DF concerts which runs Summer Sessions, said that the gigs will be “sorely missed” by music fans.

“We overcame the understandable access concerns this year and delivered a fantastic, safe event and a safe build,” he said.

“All events of scale in the gardens require pretty much the same set up and breakdown periods regardless of whether they are for one event day or several event days as in the case of ESS.

“Therefore, we struggle to understand why the new limit is for two event days only.

“Concerts at Princes Street Gardens will be sorely missed by tens of thousands of music fans every August.”

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