EIF 2023 Opening Fanfare

Submitted by edg on Sat, 1 Jul '23 10.49pm
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GRIT Orchestra performing under blue lights
Mihaela Bodlovic
Time & place

The Opening Fanfare Weekend of the Edinburgh International Festival 2023 reflects the strong community involvement that new Festival Director Nicola Benedetti is keen to encourage. 

The weekend of free music features brass bands and pipers, rappers and choirs, as over 300 young musicians from Scotland’s homegrown music scene assemble for an energetic weekend of music-making in Princes St Gardens.

Saturday 5th August Programme

Scottish youth and amateur ensembles take over three pop-up stages in the gardens, culminating in a final moment of joint music making at the end of the day. 

Ensembles featured include: 

  • Intercultural Youth Scotland
  • Drake Music Scotland
  • Tinderbox Collective
  • Musicians in Exile
  • The Edinburgh Ukrainian Choir 'Oberih'

All performances on Saturday are free and entry is non-ticketed.

Sunday 6 August Programme

GRIT Orchestra will showcase their unique blend of Celtic and world music traditions and perform tracks from their seminal albums GRIT and Bothy Culture by the late Martyn Bennett and arranged by Greg Lawson. They will be joined by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, performing a world premiere work composed for the 2023 Festival, accompanied by over 100 young people.

The event should be a memorable manifestation of the first week’s theme: "community over chaos". 

Sunday will also see performances by The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and National Youth Brass Bands of Scotland on the Garden's satellite stages from 2pm. 

Performances on Sunday take place between 2pm and 4:30pm are free, with limited tickets available for the seated arena in front of the Ross Bandstand for the final performance by GRIT Orchestra.

Note: the event is free, although the limited allocation of tickets for the seated area for the final show (GRIT Orchestra) has been filled.