Welcoming the world to Edinburgh

This year's Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) welcomed over 2,400 artists from 36 nations to perform in Edinburgh this August.

Visitors and locals alike have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the International Festival taking over £4million in ticket sales income for the first time. Classical music ticket sales in particular enjoyed a record year, with the Queen’s Hall series achieving its highest ever sales.

Free, outdoor events such as the Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time and the closing Virgin Money Fireworks Concert take the International Festival outside of the city’s established venues. Approximately 27,000 people attended the Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time, which saw Edinburgh Castle transformed by digitally animated projections inspired by the city’s past, created by 59 Productions. Tonight an estimated audience of 250,000 is expected to enjoy the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Princes St Gardens, and enjoyed by many others across the city.

Edinburgh's Festivals Champion has welcomed the results of the 2016 event, which have been enjoyed by audiences from 84 countries. Councillor Richard Lewis said: "It has been another fantastic summer in Edinburgh and the International Festival’s figures speak for themselves. A staggering number of artists and Festival workers have created what can only be described as one of the most vibrant, inclusive programmes in the event’s 69-year old history. Thanks must go to everyone who made this year’s International Festival such a great success, the many people working hard behind the scenes to keep the city moving and the tens of thousands of visitors to Edinburgh."

Though rooted in the city centre, the International Festival reaches into wider communities and throughout August worked with local school children of all ages, taking artists and workshops into schools, as well as bringing pupils to Festival shows. The International Festival’s Young People’s Jury of 25 pupils from six Edinburgh High Schools attended 19 performances across the programme. The International Festival also moved outward from the city centre into locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians with Songlines, an event which saw communities take part in a unique celebration of singing, featuring 12 choirs and soloists across 8 venues stretching from Dalmeny across Edinburgh to Haddington.

The 2016 International Festival programme also included the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, a biennial event which brought together culture ministers, artists, thinkers and arts leaders from around the world. Policy makers underlined the value of placing arts and culture at the heart of both local and global communities, and reinforced their commitment to the arts and cultural industries as vital means of international cooperation and exchange.

International Festival  Director, Fergus Linehan said: "At the end of three incredible weeks, all that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world. The International Festival has always been a place for people of all nationalities to meet and exchange ideas and we’ve seen that everywhere across the city these past three weeks. In uncertain times, events like this feel ever more important, and we at the International Festival are honoured to have been able to host, inspire, entertain and moreover welcome so many artists and visitors from all over the world to our city."

The City of Edinburgh Council is a major funding partner for the Festival. 

 

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