Edinburgh International Festival

Scottish annual festival of performing arts
(Redirected from Edinburgh Festival)

The Edinburgh International Festival is a festival of music, theatre, opera, dance, visual arts and literature that takes place every year in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Each year it is held for about three weeks in late August and early September.

The festival started in 1947. A key person was Rudolf Bing, who was then the manager of the Glyndbourne Opera Festival. Bing was later General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1950 to 1972. He was naturalized as a British subject in 1946 and knighted in 1971. His idea was to heal the wounds of war through the languages of the arts. Since 2014 the director of the festival has been Fergus Linehan.

At first the Festival concentrated on classical music. Its later events were based on the traditional arts: classical music, ballet, sculpture and fine art. Since 1999 the permanent home of the festival is at The Hub, near Edinburgh Castle. Several large theatres, concert halls and churches in Edinburgh are used for the events, e.g. Usher Hall, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh Playhouse, The Queen's Hall and The Hub.

About ten other festivals are held in Edinburgh at the same time as the Edinburgh Festival. The result is festivals with more than 2,500 performances and events per day in Edinburgh in August, many times bigger than the next biggest arts festivals anywhere in the world.[1][2]

2020 is the only year the Festival has not been held. The reason was the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.


  1. Bruce G. 1975. Festival in the North: the story of the Edinburgh Festival. London: Hale.
  2. Miller E. 1996 The Edinburgh International Festival, 1947–1996. Scholar Press: Aldershot.

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