Edinburgh International Festival
Fri 5 – Mon 29 Aug 2016, various venues.
The Edinburgh International Festival is a celebrated arts festival, hosting three jam-packed weeks full of theatre, music, dance and art. It takes place each August alongside the Festival Fringe, Art Festival, Book Festival, Tattoo and more .. making Edinburgh one of the most vibrant and exciting places to visit during the summer.
It was founded in 1947, after the Second World War, by a group of Edinburgh businessmen and civic leaders. As a way of bringing optimism and culture to the city during difficult times, they aimed to put on a world-class event, bringing together audiences and artists from all over the world.
The International Festival was the original of the 12 main festivals now held annually in Edinburgh, with the rest growing up around it over the years. The term ‘Edinburgh Festival’ refers to all 12 festivals collectively. Some visitors get confused between the International Festival and Fringe Festival as they are both held in August, but they are run by different organisations and actually have very different purposes. The International Festival aims to showcase world-class arts, and therefore is very particular in which acts it invites to perform. By contrast The Fringe allows anyone to put on a show that wants to. Both formats work well and allow a diverse range of acts to perform in Edinburgh every year.
During August the International Festival takes over Edinburgh’s six main theatres and concert halls to bring an exhilarating programme of cultural entertainment. The 2016 programme has already been announced. This is director Fergus Linehan’s second festival. It will feature acts from stars including Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, American actress Cherry Jones, Australian comedian Barry Humphries, Icelandic rockers Sigur Ros and Charlie Chaplin’s grandson James Thierré.
The festival will open on Friday 5th August with a large, free, public outdoor event which will see digitally animated artwork projected onto the rock beneath Edinburgh Castle, set to music by the Scottish band Mogwai. It will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display at the castle and classical music concert in Princes Street Gardens on Monday 29th August.
Tickets for all shows and performances can be purchased on the EIF website, by calling 0131 473 2000, or by visiting The Hub Ticket Office, just down from Edinburgh Castle on Castlehill.