This year marked the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival. It was started after World War 2 as a way to bring people out of the gloom of the war. It was said to be a ‘platform for flowering of the human spirit.’ The Church of Scotland and the City of Edinburgh established it as an agreement between church and state and agreed together on the importance of arts and culture for a society. It is now one of the world’s largest cultural events and it is really 5 festivals in one now. It always begins with a service in St Giles Cathedral which is on the Royal Mile and on the way up to Edinburgh castle.
The festivals are as follows: The Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Art Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Royal Military Tattoo. These festivals all take place in August and this year only one (the Book Festival) didn’t start on the same day. There are also other festivals that have started on the back of the main festival and they are in July. In July 2017 there was the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival and the Edinburgh Art Festival. This last festival started near the end of July and continued alongside the 5 main festival events throughout August.
In 2017, over 2020 artists from 40 countries gave performances in opera, theatre,classical music, contemporary music,dance, and comedy in 16 venues. This year, Standard Life presented a 2 night opening event which was an installation of sound and light projections that transformed St Andrew’s square into a night garden. People who came were to move around and absorb the sights and sounds.
The Edinburgh International Festival staff will be already planning for next year’s festival which runs from August 3-27th, 2018. If you have never been, plan to go next year. The City of Edinburgh is alive and as joyful place to be during this time.