International Festival celebrates record-breaking 2015 success

Edinburgh International Festival 2015 closed on Monday, after three weeks of success, diversity and innovation across its programme, the first under new Director, Fergus Linehan.


Ticket sales for the festival totalled over £3.8 million, representing a 19% increase on 2014's figure, which was itself a new record. 

In his first year in the role, Festival Director, Fergus Linehan said:

At the end of three exhilarating weeks, all that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world.  
This alliance of artists, audiences, government agencies, the media, donors and sponsors is unprecedented and all of us at the Festival office are deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute to this remarkable organisation. We will continue to seek out artists of the highest calibre and present their work to the widest possible audience.

The festival's 2015 incarnation featured three large scale public events, the Harmonium project, Fanfare and the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, each of which took the festival beyond its traditional venues and out to the thousands of people in the city. 

Thousands filled Edinburgh's Festival Square to witness the incredible light and sound spectacular of Harmonium, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Festival Chorus and featuring the music of John Adams and an incredible digital animation projected onto the Usher Hall. 

Fanfare, meanwhile saw over 6000 members of the public enjoy a stroll beside the scenic Water of Leith, where a range of traditional brass bands were carefully positioned and co-ordinated to deliver great music along the length of the walkway. 


And at the end of it all came the incredible sight and sound of 400,000 fireworks bursting above Edinburgh Castle (see our image gallery for more photos) while, in Princes Street Gardens below, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra gave a scintillating 45 minute performance in the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

In between the open air events were magnificent theatrical productions and performances from some of the world's very best artists, including Juliette Binoche in Antigone, Robert Le Page's 887, The Marriage of Figaro from Budapest Festival Orchestra, Lanark from Glasgow's Citizens Theatre and The Magic Flute from Komische Oper. 

Live music also saw exceptional performances from the likes of the San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside individual artists including Yuja Wang, Colin Currie, Lang Lang, Nicola Benedetti, Matthias Goerne and Daniil Trifonov. 

The classical canon was not the only musical entertainment however, with the very popular Hub Sessions concerts featuring with artists such as King Creosote, Anna Calvi, Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, and Sufjan Stevens. 

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:

From the opening notes and illuminations of the spectacular The Harmonium Project to the crescendo of the festival fireworks this is has been a great year for the Edinburgh International Festival. 
The festival has delivered music, theatre, dance and culture of the highest quality, including Lanark - a remarkable production that we have been proud to support through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund.  I have been impressed how the festival has pushed the boundaries to connect to wider audiences with projects such as Fanfare and From Castlebrae with Love.

Edinburgh International Festival 2016 will take place from 5-29 August. Find out more about the festival, with information, photos and useful links.

And use our handy planning guides to help you prepare for next August!

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