Edinburgh International Festival


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Edinburgh International Festival

August
The capital city of Edinburgh (pronounced ED-in-bo-ro), Scotland, is transformed during the last two weeks of August and, in some years, into the first week of September, when it hosts what is probably the most prestigious arts festival in the world. Theater and dance companies, orchestras, chamber groups, and soloists from all over the world perform at the city's major venues, and there are art exhibitions and poetry readings as well. Many important new works have been commissioned specifically for the festival—one of the most famous being T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party . A highlight of the festival, which has been held since 1947, is the traditional Military Tattoo performed nightly at Edinburgh Castle, which is perched high above the city on a rocky promontory. Marching bands from all over the world perform along with Scottish pipe bands at the tattoo, which ends with a farewell song from a lone piper standing on the floodlit battlements.
There is also a "Fringe Festival" that goes on at the same time—an arena for new talent and amateur entertainers. Although student drama and street theater predominate, the quality of the productions in recent years has sometimes made it difficult to distinguish Fringe events from the "official" ones. The number of Fringe performances has increased dramatically as well—from only a few in 1947 to more than 9,000 in 1989. But the three defining features of the earliest Fringe events still hold true today: none of the performers are officially invited to take part; they must use small and unconventional theater spaces; and they all assume their own financial risks, surviving or sinking according to public demand.
CONTACTS:
Edinburgh International Festival
The Hub
Castlehill
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2NE United Kingdom
44-13-1473-2000; fax: 44-13-1473-2002
www.eif.co.uk
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
180 High St.
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QS United Kingdom
44-13-1226-0026; fax: 44-13-1226-0016
www.edfringe.com
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Tattoo Office
32 Market St.
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QB United Kingdom
44-13-1225-4783; fax: 44-13-1225-8627
www.edintattoo.co.uk
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 99
IntlThFolk-1979, pp. 184, 185
MusFestEurBrit-1980, p. 132
MusFestWrld-1963, p. 8
(c)
References in periodicals archive ?
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60 years ago if you mentioned the Edinburgh Festival, you'd be talking about the prestigious official Edinburgh International Festival which takes place over three weeks in August.

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