Edinburgh International Festival 2016 Has Record Year For Ticket Sales

Submitted by edg on Mon, 29 Aug '16 11.23pm

The Edinburgh International Festival has raked in £4.2 million in income from ticket sales for the first time since it was launched in 1947. Attendance at this year's festival numbered an estimated 440,000.

Classical music ticket sales, in particular, enjoyed a good year, with the Queen’s Hall series achieving its highest ever sales.

"At the end of three incredible weeks, all that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world,” said Director Fergus Linehan, who brought over 2,400 artists from 36 nations to Edinburgh in his second year at the helm of the EIF.

“In uncertain times, events like this feel ever more important, and we at the International Festival are honoured to have been able to host, inspire, entertain and moreover welcome so many artists and visitors from all over the world to our city," added Linehan.

Approximately 27,000 people attended the mesmerising Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time, which saw Edinburgh Castle transformed by digitally animated projections inspired by the city’s past, created by 59 Productions.

Although the Deep Time Facebook live stream event failed on the night, the archived HD film of the event has been watched almost 20,000 times on YouTube and 106,000 times on Facebook to date.

As is tradition, the festival ended with the explosive Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra played a 45-minute Shakespeare-themed programme.

Again, the high standard of the show was not matched by the technology with many reporting a delay in the Radio Forth FM feed, so fireworks and music were not synchronised for web audiences. The festival chose not to provide a live video feed either online or in the family viewing area at Inverleith Park this year.

Artists at this year's festival included mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in Bellini’s Norma which opened the Festival programme; actor Cherry Jones in John Tiffany’s production of The Glass Menagerie; pianist Daniil Trifonov performing three programmes at the Usher and Queen’s Halls; prima ballerina Natalia Osipova in her specially commissioned contemporary dance programme; and performer James Thierrée in The Toad Knew.

Other highlights included Sigur Ros, Mogwai and Greg Lawson’s presentation of Martyn Bennet’s GRIT, at the Edinburgh Playhouse; singer-songwriter Karine Polwart’s Wind Resistance; and Scottish Ballet’s Crystal Pite Angelin Preljocaj.

A surprise hit at the Festival was cabaret show Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, which sold out over its three week run at The Hub.


The EIF continued to reach out to the local community, with another popular event, Songlines, where 12 choirs and soloists took part in a day of choral singing in 8 locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The International Festival continued its school outreach programme, taking artists and workshops into schools, as well as bringing pupils to Festival shows.

The International Festival’s Young People’s Jury of 25 pupils from six Edinburgh High Schools also judged 19 performances across the programme.

This year’s festival also saw the biennial Edinburgh International Culture Summit where culture ministers, artists, thinkers and arts leaders discussed the value of arts and culture in local and global communities.