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Edinburgh festivals given £2.1m to mark 75-year anniversaries

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will make a special appearance (Krzysztof Bielinski/PA)
The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will make a special appearance (Krzysztof Bielinski/PA)

Three of Edinburgh’s festivals are being given £2.1 million by the Scottish Government to mark their 75-year anniversaries.

The funding includes £75,000 for a special appearance by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Under the musical direction of Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, the orchestra was formed against the backdrop of the country’s war with Russia.

The Edinburgh Fringe, the largest of the city’s festivals, began on Friday and runs until August 29.

Fringe performer
Cabaret artist from La Clique on stage during the launch of Underbelly at the Fringe (Jane Barlow/PA)

The event has returned at full scale for the first time since before the pandemic.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is moving back to its August slot for the first time in more than a decade and will have more than 80 feature films. Its opening gala will receive £270,000.

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “The culture sector is renowned for its creativity and resilience so I’m delighted to see the Edinburgh festivals back with ambitious and diverse programmes following the pandemic.

“With over 3,000 shows to choose from over the next few weeks, there really is something for everyone and many of these shows are free.

“As well as gallery exhibitions, film screenings and author events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, there are live performances of theatre, dance and music.

“For people who are not in Edinburgh or unable to attend in person, they can support the festivals by buying tickets to view or livestream content online.

“Edinburgh has an incredible 75-year pedigree of offering the best in world-class talent across all genres so I would encourage people to take the opportunity to sample this abundance of culture we’re so fortunate to have on our doorstep.”