Edinburgh International Festival

Submitted by edg on Thu, 1 Jul '21 7.46am
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EIF 2024 show "Fire in the Mouth"
Tickets and info
Telephone (info)
0131 473 2099
Telephone (box office)
0131 473 2000

The flagship Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) is a high-brow assembly of some of the world's best music, opera, theatre, and dance companies. 

The festival was launched in 1947 as a stage for peace and unity in Europe after the Second World War. It was out of the Festival that the now massive Edinburgh Fringe sprung and grew in subsequent years.

The Festival usually starts and ends with a large-scale, free public event, although the Festival hasn't held its crowd-pleasing Fireworks Concert finale since 2019. 

The 2024 Festival will be the second under the lead of Festival Director and violinist Nicola Benedetti. It takes the theme of "Rituals that Unite Us".

Says Benedetti: "When beliefs differ, when we are not aligned over a shared singular fight, it is always an effort, always tricky, always messy. But this is what our Festival was founded to do. People use the word ‘soft’ when speaking of the power of the arts, but to open hearts and minds is the toughest and most serious thing we can offer people. It all starts with belief and trust. We led with this feeling in 2023, and we will deepen it in 2024.” 

The EIF launched its full 2024 Festival programme on 7 March. Tickets go on public sale on 21 March.

Read: Edinburgh Festival Programme 2024 Seeks Deeper Human Connections

  • Opening event: full details/tickets TBA
  • Closing weekend:  full details/tickets  TBA

Return after Covid-19

After a year out due to Covid-19 in 2020, the EIF returned in 2021 with a music-heavy festival line-up in outdoor pavilions at Edinburgh Park and Old College Quad and a handful of its usual venues.

The EIF also introduce a an online programme of free shows - including concerts and theatre recorded at the festival, and specially commissioned dance films from around the world. The strand EIF At Home featured 18 full length performances, available on-demand through the EIF web site. 

Traditionally, the festival climaxed with the Festival Fireworks Concert, although the opening and closing events were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions and lack of sponsorship meant that, after 40 years, the Festival Fireworks Concert was not resumed in 2022 and subsequent years.

Box Office: EIF Tickets 2024

Tickets on sale to the public on 21 March 2024. 

Festival tickets will be set using a dynamic pricing model, introduced in 2023.

Half of Festival 2024 tickets will be sold at £30 or under, with free tickets available for young musicians.

A limited number of £10 Affordable Tickets will be available for every performance in the 2024 programme: 

“Enter promo code INVITED at checkout to claim this offer. Subject to availability, no proof of eligibility required,” says the web site.

There is priority booking for EIF Friends staggered between the 14th and 19th March 2024. Friends is the membership scheme run by the festival which starts at £60 per year for a "basic" friend membership and rises to the top tier of £1,200 for an "ambassador" level friend. The higher your level of subscription the earlier your access to tickets. 

Previous years ticket deals

In 2023, the Festival carried ticket deals such as 50% off for under-18s on selected performances as soon as tickets go on sale; 30% off deals for concession card holders (from July); and £8 on the day for under 26-year-olds  for selected performances.

In 2022, the EIF marked its return to strength with 35,000 free festival tickets.