The 2010s - Iconic Festivals Moments: Part Three
Throughout December we’re looking back on the most iconic moments from the Edinburgh Festivals during the last decade:
Danny MacAskill taught us how to conquer fear
In 2015 Scottish cycling star Danny MacAskill joined a leading psychologist at the Edinburgh Science Festival to talk about the nature of focus and how it can unlock the brain’s potential, resulting in extraordinary achievements.
From Cannes to Craigmillar
In May 2017 Claes Bang, lead actor in that year's Festival de Cannes Palm d'Or winning film The Square, arrived fresh from the awards ceremony to perform in Craigmillar, a suburb of Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival. Following the Palme d’Or announcement, Festival Director Noel Jordan said: “Claes’ performance in Evil is absolutely compelling. He holds the audience in the palm of his hand, and you can barely hear a pin drop during his 65 minutes monologue. It is no wonder he has been recognised for his performance in The Square"
Landmark films from Richard Williams
The 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival honoured animation guru Richard Williams, the creator of Roger and Jessica Rabbit, with a special screening celebrating his 80th birthday.
Sinatra centenary concert with the BBC Big Band
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival celebrated Frank Sinatra’s centenary year in 2015 with a special festival production. Singers Curtis Stigers, Todd Gordon and Jacqui Dankworth teamed up with the BBC Big Band to honour Sinatra and his songs.
A Dazzling Commission
As part of its aim to commission new artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city, the Edinburgh Art Festival literally ‘launched’ its biggest work in 2016 when Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips’ created a Dazzle Ship called Every Woman as part of the World War One centenary commemorations.
Epic Theatre For An Epic Year
One of the highlights of the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014 was the vividly-imagined trilogy that brought to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous 15th century - a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future, all presented just weeks before the referendum on Scottish independence.
Edinburgh audiences saw Fleabag first
Many people get their big break at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with lucky audiences often telling their envious friends for years to come that 'I was there' - as people are saying now about the time they saw the poster and were intrigued enough to attend the first performances of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag in 2013. Waller-Bridge received a Fringe First award in Edinburgh for the play, whose scenarios and characters formed the basis for its first series on TV.
A Bollywood Spectacular
The 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was subtitled East meets West, a theme embodied by performers from as far afield as China, India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe, as well as Scotland and the rest of the UK. The Tattoo entered into a partnership with Edinburgh Mela, to present 50 Bollywood dancers drawn both from India and from Scottish dance groups, performing parts of the spectacular Bollywood Love Story each night.
The launch of Unbound
In 2010 the Edinburgh International Book Festival launched Unbound, an exciting new series of late-night events in which writers were encouraged to try something different. Every night in the Spiegeltent, acclaimed authors were invited to present their work in entertaining new ways. As well as book readings, events included music, performance and a large dose of the unknown.
Pipes, poetry and storytelling
The 30th Scottish International Storytelling Festival opened in 2018 with a night of music, poetry and storytelling. 'Ossian: The Pipes and the Story' brought together a fusion of Scottish bagpipe music and poetry, weaving it with stories performed in Gaelic and Scots.
Biffy back with a bang at Hogmanay
Playing their first and only gig of 2015, Biffy Clyro made their return at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, having last headlined in 2010. In the intervening five years they headlined several festivals, including Reading, Leeds, T in the Park and the Isle of Wight. The band also achieved a number one album and three top-10 singles.