Just Festival

Edinburgh’s social justice and human rights festival

Just Festival 2022

Edinburgh’s social justice and human rights festival

8th Aug to 29th Aug


Just War: Can it ever be right to wage war?


Conflict and Consciousness in Ukraine and Russia


Quartet for the End of Time


Live Music Now Scotland presents: Siannie Moodie


Building Peace: What difference do women make?


Covid and the Cost of Living Crisis


Art in Lockdown


Covid Positive – Can there be any upside to the pandemic?


Nevis Ensemble: Lochan Sketches


Matt Carmichael and Fergus McCreadie

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Welcome to Just Festival 2022 I am delighted that we are able to bring you the first fully live and in person Just Festival since the pandemic. Just Festival is Edinburgh’s human rights and social justice festival, and in 2022 is focused on two main themes; the mental and social effects of lockdown, particularly on artists and the arts, and conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

From 8th to 29th August, the sanctuary of St John’s Church, west end, will host an exhibition of “Art in Lockdown”, featuring a selection of works created during lockdown by a range of Scottish-based visual artists including Catherine King, Shona Young, Lesley Ann Derks and Clare Yarrington. Each Friday lunchtime there will be an informal “Meet the Artists” session where visitors can chat to the artists and find out more about their work and creative practices, and the effect of Covid and lockdown to their practice.

The festival will also host a varied music programme. We are excited to have partnered with Live Music Now Scotland, an organisation founded by legendary violinist Yehuidi Menuin which gives outstanding young artists the opportunity of performing at the start of their careers and enables high-quality live music to reach a broad range of people, especially those who wouldn’t normally have access to it. Each Thursday will see a free lunchtime concert with musicians from the scheme. These three concerts will be given by saxophone and piano duo Matt Carmichael and Fergus McCreadie; clarsach player Siannie Moodie and baroque duo Cordes en Ciel.  We also look forward to welcoming back Nevis Ensemble, to perform live for the first time, over two evenings, Lochan Sketches, a series of short pieces inspired by Scottish bodies of water which was originally commissioned for online performance during lockdown.

St John’s Church’s own Director of Music, David Goodenough, will perform a free lunchtime recital of music for solo organ on the church’s 1901 Willis organ, and the festival’s music programme will culminate with a very special performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, given by a newly formed quartet of early career instrumentalists who met on Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s talent development programme NEXT: Beth Nichol (clarinet); Joe Howson (piano); Olivia Jago (violin) and Rosie Spinks (cello).

A key part of Just Festival’s August programme is always the conversation series, and this year will see these being held once again in person, in St John’s Church. These public facing debates feature prominent speakers including Derek Mitchell, CEO of Citizens’ Advice Scotland, Dr Lesley Orr, Honorary Fellow in the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, and Tommy Sheppard MP. They cover topics as wide ranging as the role of gender in war, the current cost of living crisis and the effects of lockdown on the arts. All conversations will be free to attend, and will be live-streamed in order to allow as many people to engage with these topics.

Of course, none of this could happen without our funders, partners and sponsors, and I’d very much like to thank St John’s Church; The Diocese of Edinburgh; the Scottish Episcopal Church; the Centre for Theological and Philosophical Studies at New College, University of Edinburgh; Arts and Business Scotland; Nimar Trust; Live Music Now Scotland and the Just Festival Board of Trustees for their financial and practical support given to this year’s festival.

I very much hope you can join us for Just Festival 2022.
Miranda Heggie, Festival Manager

2022 Events

There are no upcoming Events at this time.

Appearing at Just Festival 2022

Joe Howson


Joe Howson is a versatile and award-winning pianist based in London, working in a range of settings including
solo recitals, chamber music, orchestral playing, repetiteurship, pedagogy, dance accompaniment, outreach
work and improvisation. Joe’s broad and adventurous solo repertoire spans from the baroque to the present.
He is particularly interested in the neglected piano repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries,
from neoclassical and jazz-influenced music of the 1920s to post-minimalist and crossover genres of

He completed his MMus studies in 2019 at the Royal College of Music with Danny Driver, where he was
awarded prizes for Lieder and English Song accompaniment, contemporary music, was finalist in the Chappell
Medal competition, and performed concertos with the New Perspectives Ensemble and Wind Orchestra. Prior
to his time at RCM, he was an undergraduate at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, where he now works as a staff
pianist for the vocal and wind departments. He has also trained with the BBC Symphony Orchestra ‘Pathways’
Scheme, Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, British Youth Opera, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
NEXT scheme, London Sinfonietta Academy, and the Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship.
Recent performance highlights include: with Das Neue Ensemble in Hannover, multiple chamber performances
with Sinfonia Cymru, solo recitals at the Brighton and Lichfield Festivals, and residency as the Robert Turnbull
Piano Fellow at New Music on the Point in Vermont.

He is grateful to have received support from the Craxton Memorial Trust, Philharmonia MMSF, the Countess of
Munster Musical Trust, RCM Mike Rimmer Scholarship, and the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Olivia Jago

Olivia Jago is a Welsh violinist currently based in Shropshire. Having graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2019, she has since worked with orchestras across the U.K. including the Orchestra of the Swan, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Cymru and the English Symphony Orchestra. For the last two years she has been part of the BCMG Next Musician Cohort and is really excited to performing today with her colleagues from the same project. Olivia is currently taught by Zoe Beyers, leader of the BBC Philharmonic.

Beth Nichol

Beth completed her postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2021, studying with Nicholas Cox, Raphael Schenkel, and Chris Swann, graduating with a Distinction. She enjoys orchestral playing, recently performing with the Halle in their season finale concert performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Sir Mark Elder. She has also performed this year with the Orchestra of the Light Music Society and Northern Film Orchestra on clarinet and bass clarinet. She is a regular dep in the orchestras at Chetham’s School of Music, last month playing E flat Clarinet in Stravinsky’s the Rite of Spring with conductor Ben Palmer. Beth enjoys contemporary music, and for 2021-2 was a NEXT musician on the side-by-side course with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Through this she has performed all over Birmingham, including at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, CBSO Centre, and Symphony Hall, performing on clarinet, basset clarinet, basset horn, and bass clarinet. Beth has played in composer workshops with Emily Howard and Michael Zev Gordon, leading to Beth playing the concert premiere of Michael Zev Gordon’s Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet in April 2021.

Rosie Spinks

Rosie enjoys a varied musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. She is especially passionate about the integration of music into all communities and enjoys working with organisations such as TiPP (Theatre in Prisons and Probation), SoundUp Arts, The Messengers, Hackney Music Service, Hanson Community Arts and the Benedetti Foundation. In 2016, she began her undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Hannah Roberts and Jennifer Langridge. She is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Timothy Lowe. 

Rosie is a founder of the Larisa Piano Trio, who are an award-winning chamber group formed in 2016 at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester. Holders of the prestigious St James’s Prize as well as the Christopher Rowland Chamber Music Ensemble of the Year Award, they have had many competitive successes. The trio were invited to play in Wigmore Hall in a masterclass with György Pauk. Rosie has been accepted onto the NEXT scheme with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with whom she performed in Birmingham Symphony Hall, BSO and the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Highlights of her orchestral experience include being invited to play with The Manchester Camerata as part of their professional experience scheme and playing in Leeds Town Hall as part of Nicola Benedetti’s Four Seasons Tour. She played again with Benedetti in a string orchestra under Leonard Elschenbroich, which was featured on Classic FM. Always eager to combine her love of the arts with her music making, in 2019 Rosie created the film and musical score ‘Lines’. She has recently composed a piece written for solo cello in collaboration with Colin Blundell, which she recently premiered the Belfry Centre for Music and Art in 2020.

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We are thrilled one of this year's artists, @fergusmccreadie, has been nominated for the @MercuryPrize with his latest album Forest Floor. #tbt to #JustFest22 when he played with saxophonist Matt Carmichael at the first of our @LiveMusicNowSCO presents concerts! #mercuryprize22 https://t.co/YCzZTVzOFV justFestival photo
Just two more events left in #JustFest22 !! Tomorrow @cordesenciel will give a FREE lunchtime recital at @StJohnPrincesSt at 1pm as part of our @LiveMusicNowSCO presents series, and on Friday we have a performance of #quartetfortheendoftime by #messiaen 🎶 https://t.co/Y2IYsKLZEU
TONIGHT at 6pm come along to our final FREE conversation event with @lesleyorr14 , @cpduncanson and Jenny Walters from @mercycorps on Building Peace: What Difference do Women Make?
#freefringe #justfest22 #justfestivaledinburgh #edfringe22 #edfringe
We are looking forward to welcoming back @jasonleitch to @StJohnPrincesSt this Monday at 6pm for a conversation with @lizgrant360 and Derek Mitchell, CEO of @CitAdviceScot on the possible positives to come from the pandemic. free entry, all welcome!