Five Festivals featured in Edinburgh's 101 Objects

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Celebrating Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Edinburgh's 101 Objects is a new city-wide visitor experience featuring some of the Scottish capital's most treasured and interesting items - and among them are no fewer than five objects representing Edinburgh's festivals and the city's 70 years of festival tradition!

The cross-Edinburgh campaign (May 2017-April 2018) features amazing objects in venues from museums to universities and from cathedrals to pubs, and divided into seven themes. These include Building a City, Faith & Nation, City of Innovation, Everyday Life, On the Dark Side, Books, Words, Ideas and finally Arts & Performance, in which the five festival items are featured. 

Item 22

The first Edinburgh International Festival programme, 1947

Where: The Hub, Castlehill (free entry)

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A chance to see a piece of Festivals history, as the programme for 1947's inaugural Edinburgh International Festival goes on display. 

The lineup that year included major cultural players like The Old Vic, The Vienna Philharmonic, Sadler’s Wells Ballet and Paris’ Jouvet Theatre Company and laid the ground for the world-class events which continue to this day.

Item 23

What: The Tattoo Drumstick, 1948

Where: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Shop, 1 Cockburn Street (free entry)

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Dropped by a drummer at the end of a 1948 military parade at Edinburgh Castle, this piece of history actually precedes the official Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which the event was to become two years later. 

It was quickly retrieved by 7-year-old Patricia Wilkins, who tucked it into her coat and kept it as a souvenir, before eventually returning it to the Tattoo 62 years after her lucky find!

Item 25

What: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme, 1956

Where: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, 180 High Street (free entry)

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An early version of the mammoth Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme which is now an iconic part of the world's biggest arts festival. Prior to this, Fringe performers had simply advertised their shows in shop windows, newspapers and any other way they saw fit. 

By providing a central place for all Fringe acts to be represented, the Society further enhanced the egalitarian nature of the festival, undoubtedly laying the groundwork for the programmes of recent years which have seen more than 3200 different shows featured. 

Item 27

What: EIFF Women's Film Festival Catalogue, 1972

Where: Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road (free entry) 

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One of three festivals celebrating their 70th anniversaries this year, the Edinburgh International Film Festival has always been innovative in its programming and 1972 was no exception. That year, programmers Lynda Myles, Laura Mulvey and Claire Johnston put together a season of films dedicated solely to women directors, the first of its kind in Europe and only the second in the world. 

The following year, Myles was appointed as Artistic Director of the Festival - the first woman in the world to lead a film festival. 

Item 28

What: Schools Fringe Festival Poster Competition, 1980

Where: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, 180 High Street (free entry) 

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Launched in 1980, the Fringe Schools Poster Competition is one of the longest running such projects in Scotland and has inspired over 100,000 young people to take part. The first winner was Sharon Watts of Drummond High School, whose harlequin design was used on the cover of the 1980 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. 

For the Fringe's 70th anniversary, the 2017 programme will have three different covers, each designed by a different young person from across Scotland's schools.

To find out more about Edinburgh's 101 Objects (May 2017-April 2018), please visit the This Is Edinburgh website.

The festivals featured above take place as follows:

Edinburgh International Film Festival, 21 June - 2 July 2017
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 4-26 August 2017
Edinburgh International Festival, 4-28 August 2017
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 4-28 August 2017

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