Edinburgh’s International Festival to go ahead completely outdoors, for first time ever
14 April 2021, 11:22 | Updated: 14 April 2021, 12:24
The annual performing arts festival will take place outside under temporary structures, which have been specifically designed for live performance.
Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) is set to go ahead this summer, and will take place in large outdoor marquees made for the three-week event.
Performances will be held in three bespoke pavilions erected across the city, with venues in Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad. The third location is yet to be announced.
It will be the first time in the event’s 74-year history that the festival has taken place outside.
As the country eases into normality after the coronavirus pandemic, shows will also be shorter than in previous years and have no intervals. It will run from 7 to 29 August.
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The temporary structures will house covered concert stages and socially distanced seating, for audiences to “safely enjoy live music, opera and theatre once more”, EIF has said.
Physical distancing, contactless ticketing and regular cleaning will also be enforced throughout the festival.
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Fergus Linehan, director of the festival, said: “We appreciate that these first steps back to live performances will be for audiences closer to home but are delighted to offer a parallel programme of digital work for those further afield.”
Performances spanning opera, chamber, orchestral and contemporary music are set to be announced soon.
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Last year, Classic FM partnered with the EIF when the festival showcased an entirely digital line-up due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 programme celebrated Scottish artists front-and-centre, including Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ballet.
Full details of this year’s programme will be announced on 2 June.
Priority booking will open on 1 June and general booking on 11 June.