St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Testimonials

Discover St Andrew’s Fair Saturday from the people who make it happen every year

Partners and supporters

“Our celebration of St Andrew’s Day will have to be different this year. And of course, we are not able to gather in person, as many of us otherwise might. However, that doesn’t mean that the day will or should go unmarked. A whole range of digital events and activities are taking place as part of the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday festival. People here in Scotland and around the world will be organising online celebrations with family and friends.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Government, 2020First Minister

“From 2018, Scotland has the great honour of being at the heart of the Fair Saturday movement by aligning the celebration of our national day, St Andrew’s Day, with Fair Saturday, creating an exciting new event – St Andrew’s Fair Saturday. St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2020 is shaping up to be another huge success, with over 55 virtual events and activities taking place across Scotland. In this sense, the aim of Fair Saturday is to use the power of culture and the arts as catalysts to make the world a better place, something that has never been more important than it is now.”

Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government,2020Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture

“I’m proud that Scotland has become a leading member of the global Fair Saturday movement, playing a key role as the first country to host celebrations on a national basis. This year’s St Andrew´s Fair Saturday events programme will be the largest ever and I am delighted that Scotland’s global reputation for fairness, diversity, inclusion, and internationalism will be at the very heart of the celebrations. I would encourage everyone to get involved and attend one of the many events that are taking place across the country, or by doing something positive for someone else, a good cause, or your local community this St Andrew’s Day.”

Ben Macpherson, Scottish Government, 2019Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development

“I’m really proud that Edinburgh has signed up as one of the newest cities in the global Fair Saturday movement, adding to the other towns and cities across Scotland committed to its principles of gathering together and sharing what we have to offer with the community. Fair Saturday allows cultural makers of all types – whether you’re a musician, poet, craftsman or woman, artist, storyteller, puppeteer, and more, to use their creative talents to generate awareness and raise funds for causes they care about. These could be local social enterprises or national charities, but they all share one aim: using culture to support community”.

Amy McNeese-Mechan, Edinburgh City Council, 2019Vice Convener of Culture and Communities Committee

“BEMIS Scotland are delighted to integrate our full St Andrew’s day programme for 2019 into the broader International Fair Saturday festival. We need to nurture and give a special platform to Scotland’s diverse cultural identities as it is through their celebration that we can begin to mold a dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable national identity. Fair Saturday brings the world to Scotland and Scotland to the world and we are proud that our ethnic and cultural minority communities continue to play a pivotal role in mobilising their cultural assets for positive social change”.

Rami Ousta, BEMIS Scotland, 2019CEO

“It is the most innovative positive initiative for the construction of a fairer future. Each city should have its fairer future. Each city should have its own Fair Saturday.”

Richard Demarco CBE,2018Scottish artist and promoter of the visual and performing arts

“Since 2018 Scotland has been honored to be at the forefront of the Fair Saturday movement, which aims to harness the significant power of culture to deliver positive social change. The St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2021 programme is shaping up to be another great success and a fantastic opportunity to bring people together, boosted by £62,500 of funding from the Scottish Government. I would encourage communities across the country to organise events to celebrate St Andrew’s Fair Saturday along with the wider Winter Festivals.”

Jenny Gilruth, Scottish Government, 2021Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development

2020 participants

“Great opportunity to raise money for a good cause, antidote to Black Friday, bringing the community together after COVID-19 restrictions. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend and I loved seeing all the promotion you were doing for such a good cause!”

Pianodrome,2020Matt Wright, Director

“We enjoyed being part of a branded, wider event. The toolkit was helpful with facilitating this as well as helping to bring more attention to our online exhibition in a time where we could not do our usual promotion due to not wanting to encourage crowds to gather in the city square. We have colleagues in a partner organisation that would like to see Dundee doing more for Fair Saturday which we support.”

Dundee City Council,2020Claire Dow, Principal Events Officer

“Perfect opportunity to build new audiences. It is a great event and congratulations for managing to pull it off during a turbulent year!”

Hippodrome Silent Film Festival,2020Emma Henderson, Marketing and PR Officer

“Brilliant thing to do. We learned loads. It felt like a really needed thing for our community to get together and this gave us a focus. Thanks!”

Orkney Writing Group,2020Gabrielle Barnby, Author and Creative Practitioner

“Perfect opportunity to try to get some visibility for my online tours and maybe make a little money!”

Scotland with Hannah,2020Hannah Mackay Tait, Tour Guide

“In my opinion, St Andrew’s Fair Saturday was wonderful. Everything worked really well! We felt it is a wonderful idea standing behind the festival”

7 People,2020Katarzyna Sanak, Artist

“The mission is very in line with our organisation’s approach to reducing consumption and connecting to the community.”

Edinburgh Tool Library,2020Chris Hellawell, Founder and Director

“I personally love the ethos behind the initiative and think it fosters a great community for cultural events and social causes to work together. It is really important for The Queen’s Hall to be part of this and to reach out to other like-minded spaces and places, now more than ever. In 2020 the values have felt especially important as we have all taken such a blow to our incomes and have been so remote from one another.”

The Queen’s Hall,2020Emma Mortimore, Marketing & Box Office Manager

“The festival would not be the same without St Andrew’s Fair Saturday. We are well supported by our communities and are delighted to be part of the global Fair Saturday movement. By taking part, we are adding so many positive new layers to our mission and giving something back by using culture as a tool for compassion.”

SEALL, Festival of Small Halls,2020Sara Bain, Communications Manager

“The people who run it are fantastic and very inspiring, and I wanted to find some way to show my support to them in this difficult year. Keep going, you are doing a great thing!”

The Soundhouse Organisation,2020Douglas Robertson and Jane-Ann Purdy, Founders

2019 participants

“In general, our experience of Fair Saturday was great. We have in the past had some strong negative words to say about the consumerism on display on Black Friday, but I much prefer a positive response, and giving someone an alternative, rather than just moaning about something that is wrong! We would be very keen to be involved next year and are already looking to start planning with one of our volunteers for something big to happen. Many thanks to the whole team.”

Edinburgh Tool Library,2019Chris Hellawell, Founder and Director

“I like the welcoming network and the fact that by participating we are joining a global family who has similar values and desires for their societies as we do. It is great to hear about projects in other cities and countries and share ideas and meet inspiring and like-minded people. I like the combination of art and society at a time of year which seems to have been taken over by consumerism globally, with the once American-only Black Friday concept happening across the world. This can have a place, but it’s great to balance it with an initiative that reminds people that the arts are there, that social causes are there, and that, as well as buying something new for yourself, you can think about others and do something to help make the world a bit fairer. If we all did something small on a regular basis then things would improve.

Overall feedback was very positive from both the audience and performers. We really enjoyed being part of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday. It felt as if the movement had grown considerably since last year and that there was generally more awareness in Edinburgh and across Scotland. The pack you sent was really helpful in terms of putting branded print and social media together and I think added to the awareness.”

The Queen’s Hall,2019Emma Mortimore, Marketing & Box Office Manager

“Since Fair Saturday 2019 we have continued to collect foodbank donations at all our libraries all year round. It is due to the legacy of Fair Saturday, and the need within our communities that we continue to build on this important work.”

Fife Cultural Trust (OnFife),2019Rosie Sim, Creative Instigator

“We engaged many of our community group members particularly from dementia and wellbeing groups which was wonderful and a new development this year. They shared experiences of how coming to activities here at the Botanics has impacted positively on their lives. People loved the sustainable crafts and information on sustainable seasonal food growing. Many people were made aware of the rationale behind Fair Saturday as we had a rolling slide show and talked to attendees about it. A thoroughly heart-warming event.”

Edinburgh Botanical Gardens,2019Paula Bushell, Head of Marketing and Communication

“Saturday was a great success. During the day there was a regular stream of visitors to the Scottish Portrait Award, with paintings and sculptures in the Clubroom and photographs in the dining room. In the studio, there was an opportunity for artists to draw a model in 19th-century costume, and also to have their own portraits taken by a professional photographer. At lunchtime we heard a talk from Joyce Caplan about Susan Ferrier, the Scottish Jane Austen, who is buried in St Cuthbert’s churchyard and forty people stayed for lunch. Thank you for all the work you do to support us in delivering the project.”

Scottish Art Club,2019Marilyn Jeffcoat, President

“The Big Cèilidh on St Andrew’s Night is the grand finale of the nine-day SEALL Festival of Small Halls. The event sold out quickly last year and 2019 was even more successful, selling out weeks before the event. St Andrew’s night is an excellent excuse to celebrate and it was a natural choice to join Fair Saturday in its work to use arts and culture as a channel for raising funds and awareness of charitable causes across the world. Our chosen charity is the Skye and Lochalsh branch of Ross-shire Women’s Aid and donation tins raised over £200 for the charity in just a few hours.

It is comforting to know there are very many compassionate individuals and organisations like Fair Saturday who are battling against the trend of the “selfie” movement and trying their hardest to encourage fairness, tolerance, and equality within their societies, often with severely limited resources.”

SEALL, Festival of Small Halls,2019Sara Bain, Communications Manager

“We had an extremely successful exhibition. Our event was the most northerly one held in the UK. We are very pleased with our exhibition and the response from the islanders. We were grateful for the support of individuals who contributed to our crowdfunding. This allowed us to purchase the materials to produce extremely effective portraits for display.”

North light Gallery,2019Cary Welling, Owner

“The events held for St Andrew’s Fair Saturday were very successful. The reach has been huge and certainly put St Andrew’s Fair Saturday and the Festival on the world map. Feedback from all events has been excellent and organisers expect attendance at events to be higher due to success this year.”

Oban Winter Festival,2019Pamela Lockhart, Chairwoman

“We were delighted to be part of this year’s St Andrew’s Fair Saturday. We held a small gathering in our bookshop and invited three writers and a singer to perform. St Andrew’s Fair Saturday allowed us to highlight the social project and encourage people to donate in the run-up to Christmas. Many thanks for encouraging us to take part and for all your planning. We would like to be involved again next year.”

Gaelic Book Council,2019Alison Lang, Director

“Our event went really well. As we were already planning our event on the St Andrews fair day, we were more than happy to add this aspect to the event. I don’t feel I would have been as motivated to host an event specifically for the St Andrews Fair, but tying it into an existing event worked well for us. Thanks for having Bannockburn House as part of the global events happening around the world on St Andrews day. Great to be part of something so big and far-reaching.”

Bannockburn House,2019Ross Caldwell, Events Manager

2018 participants

“On 1 December, Edinburgh’s Christmas took part in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday, a mass celebration of the benefits of arts and culture whilst supporting social causes. […] With over 3,200 people attending Silent Light that day, Edinburgh’s Christmas raised £11,807 for the charities!”

Underbelly,2018Edinburgh Christmas’ Silent Light

“The Hunterian is delighted to support this exciting Comic Night at the Museum. It will contribute to the global Fair Saturday movement and the celebration of St Andrew’s day to boost social inclusion, fairness, and sharing inspired by Scotland’s National Day.”

The Hunterian Museum,2018Steph Scholten, Director

“We have formed a very positive relationship with our chosen charity (Multi-Cultural Family Base) and will be working together on future projects. We were delighted to welcome Minister Ben Macpherson to the Family Ceilidh and HUGE thanks to all the team at Fair Saturday!”

Scottish Storytelling Centre,2018Daniel Abercrombie, Programme & Events Manager

“We were absolutely delighted for our event to be part of the inaugural St Andrew’s Fair Saturday! We think Fair Saturday is an amazing project and we received superb support from the Fair Saturday team. Thank you for allowing us to be part of it!”

English Speaking Union Scotland,2018Jordan Pfotenhauer, Programmes Director

“It was a really nice experience to be involved in, and a great opportunity to be involved with the Institut Français Écosse in celebrating the musical cultures of Scotland and France in the programme. Our good cause, the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh, is delighted with the amount raised. We’re looking forward to doing something very similar in 2019!”

Consort of Voices,2018David Ferrier

“Dundee Soup brought 40 people together for soup and sweet treats on Fair Saturday. Three local organisations pitched their project to the audience and took home the door money, topped up with extra donations from the audience, The Circle and Creative Dundee. Members of social enterprise, Uppertunity, made the soup from their own produce and decorated the venue in advance – helping them develop their skills and serve their community.”

The Circle Dundee,2018