Arts & Culture

Edinburgh International Festival reveals details of opening production

Featured Image: Edinburgh International Festival / Daniel Quirke

Edinburgh International Festival has revealed the details of its opening event, an immersive outdoor experience at UNESCO World Heritage site George Heriot’s. 

‘Opening Event: Where to Begin’ will run across three nights from August 2-4, kickstarting this year’s festival.

The 24-day celebration of the arts in the Scottish capital will run until August 25.

George Heriot’s is currently a private primary and secondary day school in the Lauriston area of Edinburgh. It was first established in 1628 as George Heriot’s Hospital by bequest of the royal goldsmith George Heriot and opened in 1659. The main building is notable for its architecture, which is the work of Scottish master mason and architect William Wallace.

Devised by the team led by creative director Katy Fuller at Pinwheel, the opening production will blend immersive installation, live performance, music and large-scale video projection to celebrate the festival and the city of Edinburgh. The production is supported by principal partner The Macallan whisky with additional support from EventScotland.

“I’m thrilled to create a new Opening Event for Edinburgh International Festival in partnership with The Macallan. Our story pays tribute to this most remarkable of cities and the unstoppable creative energy which pervades it every August,” said Fuller.

“We celebrate the alchemy that happens when exceptional artistry meets an expectant audience and the connection, emotion and inspiration that characterises a festival in full force. We look forward to welcoming audiences to join us and play their part in igniting the 2024 International Festival.”

Nicola Benedetti, Edinburgh International Festival director, added: “This year, we’ve invited everyone to participate in our 2024 theme, ‘Rituals That Unite Us’. ‘Opening Event: Where to Begin’ in partnership with The Macallan, marks the first of a new ritual, both for our Festival and the city.

“We know audiences will be blown away by this spectacle, and we’re proud to show the formidable creative power and potential of Edinburgh and its people to the world. It’s an event that beckons us to find new ways to experience and appreciate our city.”