Festival Fireworks Concert
The Edinburgh Festival goes out each year with literally many, very large bangs, in its annual 45-minute Festival Fireworks Concert, this year, on Sunday 31 August at 9pm.
Beneath Edinburgh Castle, the world-renowed Scottish Chamber Orchestra will play while a fireworks team based in the castle provides synchronised visual accompaniment.
You need a ticket to hear the SCO playing at the Ross Band Stand in Princes Street Gardens, but the majority of spectators tune into local radio to hear the live broadcast and watch the pyrotechnians paint the sky in explosive colour.
Vantage points can be found around the city, from up close on Princes Street, Waverley Bridge, or Castle Street to Calton Hill, from residential New Town roof-tops to further afield from the slopes of Holyrood Park.
Although closed for 2012, due to heavy rain, Inverleith Park's free Family Viewing Area is also popular. It has good views of the castle and a live video link and sound system to capture the Concert in the Gardens that accompanies the fireworks display. It's not as exciting as being up close, under the castle, but you can avoid the uptown crush of Princes Street. Get there earlyish - proceedings start at 7pm - to bag a good spot.
Naturally, the weather is also expected to play its part. Ideal weather conditions are clear skies and a slight breeze to blow the clouds of smoke from the masses of exploded fireworks away. Check the weather forecast.
The concert continues this year's "war" theme with Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries' from Die Walküre, used so evocatively in the movie Apocalypse Now, as well as Debussy's rousing March Écossaise, the stormy passions of Beethoven's Egmont Overture and the memorable 'War March of the Priests' from Mendelssohn's Athalie. The fireworks display over the castle ramparts by Pyrovision will reach a crescendo for Tchaikovsky's thunderous 1812 Overture, written to celebrate Russia's deliverance from Napoleon's invading armies.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Garry Walker will perform Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The firework display will be choreographed by Pyrovision. The fireworks will see 4 tonnes of fireworks set off including the popular waterfall of white light that cascades down the castle rock.
The 2012 Fireworks Concert marked the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a "feast of pageantry and patriotism", with a touch of Shakespeare.
Garry Walker Conductor conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing:
- Walton Orb and Sceptre (written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953)
- Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves
- Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)
- Walton Suite from Henry V (excerpts)
Tickets to the Festival Fireworks Concert usually sell out quickly. In 2012, the EIF introduced a limited number of Priority Entry tickets for the Gardens, where for an extra £5 you gain access to the gardens half an hour before gates open.
Seated Ross Theatre tickets (£27.50) and standing Princes Street Gardens tickets (£12.50 or £17.50 priority) go on sale on Saturday 24 March with all other Edinburgh International Festival tickets.
Tickets are limited to only ten per booking.
Note: Ticket holders for the Ross Theatre don’t need to rush to secure their spot in the gardens and so can take their seats once the gates are open.
Last Chance to Buy
A proportion of tickets will go on sale on 30th August (see announcement).
A further limited number of gardens tickets will be released for sale only at The Hub in person from 10.00am on Saturday 1 September.