Category Archives: Community Arts

Summer of Success for Youth Bands

Summer 2023 has been busy for ELJam: full of festivals and sunshine!

We started in May in Haddington, where we partnered with Haddstock and the Bridge Centre to run our first ever Battle of the Bands. This saw 10 new bands from ELC high schools coming together to compete in front of a packed room and some very prominent and successful judges from the music business. Click here for more details.

Following on from this success, we took a number of these bands plus some other youth bands from around East Lothian, to Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick

Next on the list of highlights was for Red Raven, Gaslight and Room 27 to perform at Hops in the Garden: an absolutely fantastic food and beer festival held at Archerfield Walled Garden in aid of Leuchie House.

And last but not least, the brilliant Dunbar Music Festival invited ELJam to host a youth showcase at their weekend long event in September. Six high school bands took part in this and they absolutely did themselves, their schools and ELJam proud!

Relaunch of Acoustic cafe

The Fraser Centre is planning the return of its live music nights for young performers (up to 25 years old) from Saturday 20th January. We hope to have 5 or 6 singers/ musicians lined up for a night of great, live music that can be enjoyed by friends, family and the wider community.

If you are a musician or singer from fa’side or go to school in the Tranent cluster, we would love your help designing the relaunch of the music nights. Pop along to the Fraser Centre café on Friday 3rd November from 12.30 to find out more and have your say. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to note interest please contact me at

Dunbar Music Festival

Sat 23 Sept 11am-3pm Dunbar Parish Church

ELjam is hugely excited to be staging a youth bands showcase at Dunbar Music Festival on Sat 23rd September. Featuring six bands from East Lothian high schools, this promises to be a fantastic day of music and a superb display of talent. We are also delighted to have Nicky Dannaher from East Coast FM joining us as our compere for the day.

The line up is:

11:00-11:25       Cardiac Arrest (Dunbar Grammar)

11:35-12:00       Queen Spirit (North Berwick High School)

12:10-12:35       The Watts (Dunbar Grammar)

12:45-13:10       Gaslight (Knox Academy)

13:20-13:45       Kings of Lugton (Prestonlodge High School)

13:55-14:20       Room 27 (Dunbar Grammar)

Entry is free and there will be a soft drinks and snacks bar available.

Dunbar Music Festival runs from Fri 22 to Sun 24 September and has gigs at various venues all over the town. Click here to see the line up of free gigs and click here for details of our youth showcase, including venue location. There are two brilliant headliners as well: Gruff Rhys and Callum Easter & The Roulettes. All in all a weekend NOT to be missed!

What’s On and What’s Not?

Part of ELjam’s business plan is to gather information on what’s on currently and what is missing from the youth music scene. Please help us by letting us know what you’re involved with (either as a young person or a supporter / tutor) and also what you’d hope to see happening in future.

To tell us your thoughts and ideas, you can email eljam or you can add comments to this post. Supporters of youth music are encouraged to respond as well as young musicians (Under 25s). We would love to hear about:

  • What is currently running in your area (include organisation name)
  • Where this activity takes place and which ages it is for.
  • What you would love to see happening that isn’t already in your area
  • What ELjam can do to support you as a young musician or as a supporter of young musicians.

Hops in The Garden

Music & Food Festival

Sat 2 Sept 2023 – Archerfield Walled garden

East Lothian’s family music festival in support of Leuchie House national respite centre opens its gates once more this year, and they are looking for youth bands to perform throughout the day. More info to follow, but if you would like to apply to perform (priority to U25s) then please complete this form and return to

*Please also submit a video performance (mobile phone recording will do) of you performing one song, to help the organisers make their selections.*

Please note that as this a charity fundraiser, with all profits going to Leuchie House, there is no fee associated with the performances. Assistance with travel costs may be available through the arts service. Please contact us to find out more.

EH32 Live Youth Bands Gig

Sunday 11 June 2pm – 8.30pm (date changed from 4th)

Available slots for youth bands or solo acts (U25s):

  • 4 slots of 40 mins between 2pm and 6pm.
  • 1 evening band slot 6.30 – 8.30pm (could be 2 hours or two shorter sets)

Situated in the stunning gardens of Cockenzie House, EH32 Live brings the best of local live music to East Lothian. It runs every Saturday and Sunday from June until August 1.00pm – 8.30pm and showcases some great acts. It’s family (and dog) friendly and has a relaxed, festival vibe. Most days there are two featured bands, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, but there are also band jam and open mic sessions too, so there’s something for everyone.

Watch a wee promo video here.

This year ELjam has teamed up with EH32 Live to being you the opening event of the season, and we’re delighted to offer a day of youth band performances for your listening pleasure!

If you would like to apply for one of the gig slots mentioned above, please download and complete the form below and return it to by Friday 26 May 2023.

Reasonable travelling expenses will be covered (receipts/mileage required) and vouchers to use at the food stand will be provided.

ELC Arts Service Recruiting!

Submit C.V. to

DEADLINE: 10th April

East Lothian Council Arts Service and Brunton Theatre Trust delivers inclusive, accessible and professional arts activities to all East Lothian residents in the form of school holiday programmes, weekly workshops and community arts projects. We are looking to increase and update our database of freelance arts practitioners who can deliver workshops in music, drama, dance and a variety of visual arts and crafts disciplines and have experience of arts engagement. We welcome general applications and also workshop proposals.

Qualifications and Experience:

Degree Qualification in a relevant subject or minimum 3 years demonstrable relevant experience. 

Experience of engaging individuals and communities in arts activities

An understanding of the value of arts engagement for individuals and communities

Current PVG scheme member. Will be required to join ELC PVG scheme

Must have own Public Liability Insurance, Unique Tax ref number and be registered as a sole trader

Scottish Artists or Musicians’ Union rates apply.

If you have the skills required and would like to be considered for creative projects please send your C.V. into:

Singers Needed for Community Opera

Do you enjoy singing? Acting? Putting on a show?

Or know someone who does?

The Lammermuir Festival returns to East Lothian this spring and is looking for singers and actors to join our new community musical, Catriona and the Dragon. Join us now and perform alongside three of Scotland’s top professional singers, a huge orchestra of professional players and musicians from East Lothian schools, with conductor Sian Edwards, director Laura Attridge and chorus director Moira Morrison.

The storyline

Queen Catriona is the reluctant ruler of the Kingdom of Beagland, terrorised by a fearsome dragon who lives beyond the Bridge to Nowhere. Will Catriona find the courage to go over the Bridge to confront her worse fears and to fight the dragon? Can she persuade her people to change their ways?

How to get involved?

To join our Children’s Chorus and help Catriona conquer the Dragon living beyond the Bridge to Nowhere and who is terrorising the land, register HERE

And why not persuade any grown-ups to join in too? They can sign up for our Adults’ Chorus HERE

Rehearsals start 18th March!

For further details and links to our registration and all application forms:

or contact Sue at or on 07791 332420

The Gatherings with Ali Burns

Renowned song writer, director and workshop leader for ommunity choirs, Ali Burns, is delighted to be back in East Linton Community Hall again for this month’s The Gatherings. You can look forward to a morning of easy harmony singing, great company, coffee and cake.

Anyone is welcome – just turn up to sing at 10am and join in. You can buy tickets (at various prices depending what you can afford) here:

SATURDAY 25TH FEB 10am -1pm