Record sales as International Festival welcomes the world

A photo of Edinburgh International Festival's Deep Time event, showing Edinburgh Castle lit up at night by a projection of the words 'Welcome World'

Festival fans from across the globe made this year's Edinburgh International Festival the most successful ever, as ticket sales totalled £4.2 million, passing the £4 million mark for the first time. 

Audience members from 84 different countries packed venues across the city, as Director Fergus Linehan's second International Festival programme proved massively popular, entertaining an estimated overall audience of 440,000

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals Champion, said:

It has been another fantastic summer in Edinburgh and the International Festival’s figures speak for themselves. A staggering number of artists and Festival workers have created what can only be described as one of the most vibrant, inclusive programmes in the event’s 69-year old history.

The 2016 International Festival included over 2400 world-class artists from 36 nations, in a programme filled with exceptional theatre, opera, dance and music as well as two spectacular outdoor events to bookend proceedings. 

A montage of two photos, the first showing a moment from Deep Time, the second showing a burst of pink,blue and white fireworks

The amazing Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time saw a crowd of around 27,000 people witnessing bright, colourful animation projected onto the side of Edinburgh Castle, telling the story of the Scottish capital's geological history. 

And an estimated 250,000 people at vantage points around the city and beyond, were treated to the spectacular Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, as the music of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra accompanied more than 400,000 fireworks in the skies above Edinburgh. 

A montage of five photos of Edinburgh International Festival artists: Cecilia Bartoli, James Thierrée, Natalia Osipova, Alan Cumming and Cherry Jones

In between the two events lay three weeks of exceptional entertainment, with top-class performances from the likes of mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli (Norma), actor Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie), performer James Thierrée (The Toad Knew), prima ballerina Natalia Osipova in her specially commissioned contemporary dance programme and pianist Daniil Trifonov across three programmes at the Usher and Queen’s Halls. 

Other major highlights included Martyn Bennet’s GRIT, Karine Polwart’s Wind Resistance, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs and gigs by the likes of Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Young Fathers and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. 

International Festival  Director, Fergus Linehan said:

At the end of three incredible 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. 
The International Festival has always been a place for people of all nationalities to meet and exchange ideas and we’ve seen that everywhere across the city these past three weeks. 
In uncertain times, events like this feel ever more important, and we at the International Festival are honoured to have been able to host, inspire, entertain and moreover welcome so many artists and visitors from all over the world to our city.

Find out more about the Edinburgh International Festival hereOr let us help you start planning your 2017 visit.

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