Sponsor blow

Festival fireworks cancelled after 40 years


The festival fireworks attracted large crowds

There will be fireworks to close the Edinburgh International Festival this year as the traditional finale was unable to find a sponsor.

The 45-minute show, accompanied by music and with Edinburgh Castle as its centrepiece, began in 1982 and attracts more than 250,000 spectators.

Four tonnes of explosives are used to ignite about 400,000 fireworks to create a spectacular experience.

EIF organisers said an alternative large-scale event was being considered.

The fireworks display did not take place in 2020 or 2021 because of Covid restrictions and the pandemic also forced last year’s show to be cancelled. Virgin Money ended its sponsorship in 2020.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti, who has unveiled her first programme as director of the Edinburgh International Festival, said: “We talked a lot about the closing of the festival and have explored a number of different avenues.

“There has been a lot of internal scrutiny over their environmental impact and whether it is the most sensible thing to do.”

An EIF spokeswoman added: “The International Festival won’t be staging the fireworks this year.

“The fireworks have always been dependent on a major sponsor, and we do not have one to support the event this year.

“We will be speaking with the other August festivals and the City of Edinburgh Council to see what form a large-scale closing event might take in the future, that would replace the fireworks.”

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