Edinburgh Festival

Keeping an eye on the opening shows


A juggler rehearsing in Bristo Square ahead of the opening of the Edinburgh Festival on Friday (photo by Terry Murden)

Performers have begun arriving for the 70th Edinburgh Festival which opens this weekend with a spectacular light show in St Andrew Square.

It is a huge sound and light installation by 59 Productions and Nick Powell. It is staged on Friday and Saturday night and is sponsored by Standard Life.

Although thousands of folk have already snapped up the free tickets anyone can pop along from 10.30pm on either night to see it.

This event is the key celebration of the Festival’s 70th Anniversary. The images and sounds projected onto the facades are inspired by that history – from the darkness of post war 1947 through the vibrancy of the Festival city today.

It takes over three sides of the New Town square making it the biggest canvas 59 Productions has worked on across the company’s Edinburgh opening events. It produced Deep Time on the Castle rock last year and in 2015 the Usher Hall was used for Harmonium.

Nick Powell has been commissioned to create the sound track – drawing on inspirations of the last 70 festivals and Edinburgh’s development as a festival city. He has created the sound for many key EIF productions as well as a host of other stage shows.

Preparations are also under way at other locations in the city. Some of North America’s top business events organisers have been at Edinburgh Castle to watch a rehearsal of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 

In a familiarisation trip organised by the Business Events team at VisitScotland, the representatives of ten companies were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the military and musical spectacular, which kicks off later this week. 

The group also visited the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Balmoral Hotel, the Cannonball Restaurant and Bar, as well as Hopetoun House in South Queensferry. 

This will be followed tomorrow by a trip to Perthshire, where they will take in Scone Palace, Gleneagles and Glenturret Distillery. 

The trip is part of the third annual instalment of the eVent: THE UK SUMMIT, a three-day networking and education event hosted by VisitScotland Business Events and London & Partners – the official promotion company for the UK capital.

This eVent was held last week with Scottish partners Cashel Travel, The Fairmont, the Balmoral, Gleneagles and MacDonald Hotels & Resorts joining VisitScotland Business Events in London for a series of business-to-business appointments and a seminar. 

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