The Edinburgh Festival - What's it all about?

The giants of the arts gather in Edinburgh for the International Festival every August.

On a tremendous scale, Edinburgh becomes an international cultural epicentre for all the performing arts offering intense, personal and exciting experiences to those who come from Edinburgh, from Scotland and from around the world.

Festival beginnings

The Edinburgh International Festival was the inspired idea of Rudolf Bing, then the General Manager of Glyndebourne Opera, Henry Harvey Wood, the Head of the British Council in Scotland, and leaders from the City of Edinburgh.

Set up as a world class cultural event to bring together audiences and artists from around the world it has always been a leading international cultural organisation loved by many, which also generates a wide range of benefits for Edinburgh and Scotland.

Right from the beginning the Festival inspired people not part of the International programme to put on shows of their own, and these events grew into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. More festivals have grown up around it in August and early September, as well as throughout the year and there are now 12 major annual festivals in Edinburgh, the Festival City.

If you would like to delve into the Festival’s rich history and discover the wonderful artists and stories that have made it so loved by so many then you can immerse yourself in publications, programmes and photos at the National Library of Scotland or take a wander around our website and the multimedia library.

"The Edinburgh International Festival was established in 1947 in a post-war effort to provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit"

Who we are

This Festival is about the people who come together here in Edinburgh to create incredible experiences.

Together we are a state of the art, world class cultural event which over its 68 years has gone from strength to strength.

As such a vibrant, innovative, energetic organisation, the Festival contributes to many aspects of life, be it cultural and economic, education and society and enhances the lives of people not just in Edinburgh and Scotland, but around the world.

Posted by James on July 30th 2015

Loading... Updating page...