Below is a briefing I received on the now infamous screens erected along Princes Street to prevent people from seeing concerts in Princes Street Gardens for free.
You will no doubt be aware of the recent concern around the screens on Princes St erected as a public safety measure as part of the Summer Sessions concerts. You may know that these were removed yesterday in response to public concern.
Discussions between the Council, Police Scotland and the event organisers have taken place yesterday and today. In all these discussions, public safety has been of paramount importance, particularly with respect to the potential for crowds gathering on Princes St to try to view the event from outside the ticketed arena. Following further advice from both Police Scotland and Public Safety officers today, the following have been agreed as a set of measures which achieve the balance of respecting the setting and public amenity, whilst putting public safety first:
- Pedestrian barriers will be erected after 14:30 halfway across the southern pavement;
- The screen will be erected no earlier than 16:00 on the day of a concert (subject to review by Police Scotland and Council officers);
- The screens will be completely removed immediately after each concert;
- The screens will be mounted on the stone plinth of the railings meaning they will be lower than previously.
The screens will be therefore be lower than they were before and, importantly, they will be removed immediately after each performance. The benefit to this approach is that both sides of the Princes Street will be accessible, meaning minimum disruption for passers-by, maximum public safety precautions and clear views of the Gardens and the Castle at all other times.