Last month saw an exciting new addition to Edinburgh’s live events calendar – Edinburgh Soup. A live crowdfunding night that brings together good food, good music and good causes, the first Soup saw a packed Assembly Roxy select social innovation charity, Comas, to benefit from the evening’s donations. Building on that success, Soup’s back at the Roxy on Thu 26 Nov for a second helping. We spoke to co-founder Phil Bolger to find out more…

So, what’s the deal with Edinburgh Soup?

Well it’s a night of awesome live music, tasty freshly made soup from Union of Genius and a little charity thrown into the mix, aiming to help local projects working hard in the Edinburgh community.

It’s a really simple idea to be honest – the projects speak, the audience vote and the winner is given the door money (we ask for a minimum of £5) and any extra donations. We’re not inventing the wheel here but it seems to work and it’s capturing people’s imaginations, so we’re running with it!

Why are you doing it?

That’s a good question! I’ve been lucky enough to travel and while I saw some amazing communities with very little in Asia, I decided I wanted to try and do something that gave back rather than just took. It made sense to start this in my local community.

Lots of people have these ideas while travelling, and it was one of many grand schemes I dreamt up while away. But when I got back I saw an article on the news about Detroit Soup and how they’re doing amazing work for their community. The idea just wouldn’t leave me, keeping nagging away at me to do something about it in Edinburgh.

Myself and my co-founder both have a background in running music nights, so it’s really important to us to showcase the live acts as much as the projects, trying to introduce them to a new audience while accidentally doing some good at the same time!

What makes it different?

The whole idea is unique to Edinburgh and, as far as we can see, Scotland. We wanted a “cool” night that does some good almost as an after thought. We’ve all sat through long-winded fundraisers and seen stale charity events on TV, and we wanted to make sure that ours felt fresh, original and appealed to numerous types of people to try and get that feel of community on the night.

So with ingredients such as a high level of talent, the best soup in the ‘Burgh and some amazing projects letting you know what they’re busy doing, I think it’s a recipe for a great night (sorry, couldn’t resist, that sounds so corny!) To be honest, what really makes it different is the people that come to the night. It’s such a mix of people all looking to enjoy the event while being part of something doing good. That’s what makes it special for me.

What’s happening at this Soup?

This Soup is our second and has a lot to live up to after the success of the first night. We have another three bands – the Americana-tinged musings of Al Shields, the fantastic songwriting skills of Caroline Gilmour, and then, to headline, we have the fantastically addictive Matt Norris and The Moon. All talented local musicians we are so lucky to have joining us, plus they are all giving their time and talent for free.

We are dishing up Union of Genius soup again, though I don’t know what flavour yet, then some amazing projects, which we are yet to announce to avoid any biased or unfair shenanigans!

All in all, it looks set to be pretty special. It just needs people to get involved! So like us on Facebook and Twitter, and invite your pals to the event. We succeed or fail by word of mouth, so hopefully the people of Edinburgh will get behind us again!

How can people take part?

Anyone looking to take part should drop us a line through Facebook or Twitter. We love hearing about the projects and bands that want to be part of what we’re doing. But, as I said, the biggest help to us at the moment is spreading the word. Be part of the change!

What are your plans for the future?

For Edinburgh Soup we are looking to run four nights quarterly in 2016, making each bigger and better than the last. We would love to have raised £5-6000 minimum for local projects by the end of next year!

We’re also going to look at setting up another night separate to Soup, again focusing on showcasing local talents but that’s still in the pipeline at the moment so you’ll just have watch this space…

Edinburgh Soup is @ Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, on Thu 26 Nov 2015 @ 19:00