The 2010s - Iconic Festivals Moments: Part Four

Throughout December we’re looking back on the most iconic moments from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2010-2019:


The UK premiere of Amy
In 2015 The Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted the UK premiere of Amy - the documentary on the life of troubled singer Amy Winehouse - after much speculation in the media that the premier would be at the Glastonbury Festival. Directed by Asif Kapadia - the man behind the earlier documentary Senna which quickly became the highest grossing UK documentary of all time, scooping BAFTAs for best documentary and best editing - Amy is an unflinching and engrossing journey, delicately assembled and teeming with never-before-seen archive footage.

Lee Towersey at the Edinburgh Science Festival
There were many highlights at the 2016 Edinburgh Science Festival including; The Sounds of Science featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie; LEGO artist Warren Elsmore building a Martian habitat and one of our favourites, an event with Lee Towersey co-builder of the R2D2 unit used Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Chalk About at the Children’s Festival
The performance at the 2013 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival immediately sparked national and international interest in Chalk About. To date, Chalk About has toured extensively in 12 countries worldwide, and continues to be performed with further dates confirmed in Scotland and England.

A Royal seal of approval
In 2014 the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival got the royal seal of approval with the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay attending a performance by pianist Stephanie Trick at the Tron Kirk. Also present at the event was TV presenter and pianist Jools Holland.

Royals and Jools
A hidden street art commission
An illuminating neon light on Calton Road, ‘A Drama In Time’ is one of a number of permanent commissions from Edinburgh Art Festival which was commissioned for the 2016 festival. Situated beneath a railway bridge, this dark spot offers an ideal setting for Graham Fagen’s captivating neon light work which presents a narrative illuminating a journey of a life and questioning what lies beyond. It is centred on the story of the Roselle, a ship that sailed from the Port of Leith to Kingston, Jamaica in 1786. Robert Burns had booked a passage on the boat, but never sailed.

Art neon
EIF presented Gurrelieder
Schoenberg’s epic cantata ‘Gurrelieder’ closed the 2016 Usher Hall concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival. One of the grandest, most opulent musical statements ever made, the piece is rarely performed and is scored for an exceptionally large ensemble approximately 150 instrumentalists and 200 singers!

Games and Inspiration at the Fringe
New for 2019 was the FringeMaker game, which encouraged visitors to explore different venues, see shows and tackle random Fringe challenges using a dedicated web-based app. In true treasure hunt style, players were rewarded for breaking new ground and discovering hidden top hats located in each of the over 300 venues taking part at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In order to help audiences to take a chance on something new, the Fringe Society also introduced the Inspiration Machine, an interactive, arcade-style machine that will randomly display videos from Fringe artists at the push of a button.

New stands for the Tattoo
During the summer of 2011, visitors to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo enjoyed the spectacle from a brand-new grandstand. The newly completed temporary structure can be erected in half the time of the previous stand and can hold over 8,800 spectators.

2012 Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference
In 2012 the Edinburgh International Book Festival hosted the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, bringing together leading Scottish and international writers. The conference featured a host of writers who, over a five-day series of events, explored a range of topics through which writers and writing can help to make sense of the world. Its aim was to build the most complete picture of writing and its relationship to modern life ever attempted.

Storytelling Centre celebrated 10 years
June 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, the world's first purpose-built building for live storytelling and the home to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects and opened in 2006, the centre emerged from the efforts of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Storytelling Forum and has since grown into a vibrant hub for the arts.

Scotland’s year of young people
The Year of Young People kicked off in spectacular, if slightly early, fashion on 30 December 2017, as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay delivered the opening moment. Hogmanay’s much loved Torchlight Procession wound its fiery way through the historic streets of the Scottish Capital as usual but at its end a special arrangement of some of the 10,000 torchbearers spelt out the word Braw - a word (meaning “very good”) which had been chosen from hundreds submitted and chosen by young people to be 2018’s #ScotWord.


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