By Lucy Ashton
The very best of cultural talent from Scotland will be under the spotlight this month as Edinburgh welcomes visitors from home and abroad to its world-class summer arts festivals.
Six of the festivals have received support from the Scottish Government’s Expo Fund to commission new work, some of which will tour internationally following festival performances. Under the Made in Scotland banner there are 18 funded shows this year featuring an exciting mix of theatre, music and dance commissions and performances.
In addition, the Platforms for Creative Excellence (PLACE) programme – jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council – focuses on programme innovation, creative development, and community.
Culture Secretary Angus Robertson, pictured right, said: “Scotland has a wealth of phenomenally talented artists and the Edinburgh festivals provide a fantastic platform for them to reach a much wider audience.
“Expo and PLACE funding have not only helped to raise the profile of Scottish artists but contributed to a more vibrant and diverse arts scene both at home and internationally.
“There is something for everyone across the summer festivals and I hope people from home and abroad, whether they’re taking part in events or watching performances will enjoy this fantastic celebration of culture.”
Festivals Edinburgh chair Dr Simon Gage said: “We warmly welcome this sustained support from the Scottish Government for our festivals and the people who make them happen. This is crucial in allowing us to deliver unparalleled cultural, social and economic benefits that enhance lives at home and Scotland’s profile around the world.”
Since it was set up in 2008, the Expo cohort has received £32 million. Within the first ten years, the fund had supported the commissioning of more than 550 new works of art, music and theatre.
Recipients awarded a share of the £1.8 million Expo Fund for 2023-24 include Edinburgh Art Festival (£130,000), Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (£550,000), Edinburgh International Book Festival (£85,000), Edinburgh International Festival (£100,000), Edinburgh International Film Festival (£59,000) and Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (£100,000).
The PLACE Fund was set up five years ago to provide £1 million each year over five years to the Edinburgh festivals.
Top picture: Fire eater in Hunter Square during the Edinburgh Festival. Picture by Bill Heaney