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Jaqi has been a festival driver for 13 years. Key character trait for the job? She’s unflappable, cool-headed, utterly capable.
She’s a retired NHS lab technician and a terrific gardener — her house is a haven of wild flowers on the edge of the Braid Hills. She can stay serene when Edinburgh roads are thronged with tourists come mid-August. She can bake wonders, which keeps the festival office sugared up when things get tense. She can chat for Scotland, which makes her one of the best-loved drivers in the team.
During the festival she’s at the wheel for up to eight hours a day, happily picking up artists from the airport at early o’clock and ferrying whole ensembles between hotels and rehearsals. She sees it all: the pre-concert nerves, the post-concert highs and lows, the secret off-stage arguments and affairs. Her rule is that what’s said in the car stays in the car — so I went for a ride in that car to find out more.