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Edinburgh International Festival launches Spirit of ’47 programme

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert - Edinburgh International Festival 2016 (Mihaela Bodlovic)
Virgin Money Fireworks Concert - Edinburgh International Festival 2016 (Mihaela Bodlovic)

SPIRIT OF ’47 marks the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival and is inspired by the founding principals of the first festival.

In 1947, a group of prominent figures in the arts, including first festival Director Rudolf Bing, thought up an arts festival that would welcome people from all over the world to the Scottish capital, in a celebration of cultures and people.

Spirit of ’47 champions the optimism and continued resonance of this partnership, bringing together an eclectic line-up of artists from Syria to Stirlingshire.

The programme offers a rare opportunity to hear a diverse range of cultural perspectives from over 20 nations, featuring artists from Scotland, England, USA, Ukraine, Lebanon, Cuba, China, Jamaica, Palestine, Chile, Argentina, Syria, Portugal, Germany, Iran, Pakistan, India and more.

Fergus Linehan, International Festival Director, said:Whether it is looking forward to the playwriting voices of the future or looking back to post-war Jamaica, India and Edinburgh, Spirit of ’47 will, I hope, give a sense of how culture continues to flow and flourish across oceans, continents and borders”.

Graham Sheffield, Director Arts, British Council, said: “The British Council’s mission – to build connections between the UK and the rest of the world – has always been closely linked to the vision of the Edinburgh International Festival, and I’m delighted that, 70 years after we established the very first Festival together, we are working together in a new spirit of collaboration”.

A partnership between Spirit of ’47 and BBC Arts Digital extends the reach of the season online. Play readings, films, discussions and music will be live streamed from The Studio at the Festival Theatre, and in harmony with Spirit of ‘47’s principles, these performances will be available internationally, live and on demand from BBC arts.

Spirit of ’47 is based at The Studio on Potterrow, with additional events at the Usher Hall, Festival and King’s Theatres. It runs for 10 days during the International Festival from Sunday 6 to Wednesday 16 August.

Tickets for all events are now on sale and available from Hub Tickets on 0131 473 2000 or at eif.co.uk.

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