ENTERTAINMENT: Edinburgh Festival plan ‘careful return’ as acts announced

Outdoor venues, shorter performances and online shows are among safety measures being put in place

It’s all happening at Edinburgh Festival this year. General booking for Edinburgh International Festival will open on Friday June 11. 

Pictures by Bill Heaney

Acts such as Grammy-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti and actor Alan Cumming are among performers due to take to the stage from August 7-29.

Organisers said outdoor venues, shorter performances with no intervals, and some performances uploaded online were among measures taken to put on the festival safely.

HIghlights include the world premiere of Enda Walsh’s latest play Medicine, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Dido’s Ghost featuring new music by composer Errollyn Wallen and a new concert staging of Ariadne auf Naxos, starring Dorothea Roschmann and David Butt Philip.

“It is a celebration of spirit and creativity across all art forms, placing Scotland’s magnificent home-grown talent shoulder to shoulder with a truly international array of artists.

“With over 170 performances from world renowned orchestras to inspirational young ensembles, folk stars to alternative jazz, electronica to world music sensations, and acclaimed choreographers to leading theatre companies, there really is something for everyone.

“This impressive programme will reach new audiences across the city as well as breathing life back into some of the capital’s most iconic venues.”

Established in 1947, Edinburgh International Festival usually hosts an international audience exceeding 400,000 people per year, organisers said.

Festival director Fergus Linehan added: “The programme we are announcing today represents a carefully organised return to live performance.

“While so much has been written and said about the challenges of the past 15 months, it is now time to look to the future and to the brilliant musicians, actors, dancers and poets who are getting ready to perform in Edinburgh this August.

“None of us can be certain of what the coming months will bring but we are committed to working together on returning to the joy of live performance.”

General booking for Edinburgh International Festival will open on Friday June 11.

Top picture is of violinist Nicola Benedetti.

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