Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Blooming animations to open Edinburgh festival season

Bloom Image copyright Edinburgh International Festival

A civic square in Edinburgh will be transformed using projected animations to mark the start of the 70th Edinburgh International Festival.

Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom is the third in a series of digital commissions celebrating the beginning of the 2017 festival season.

It will see colour, texture and sounds mapped across St Andrew Square over two nights.

The free to the public installation has been created by Leo Warner.

Mr Warner said: "We decided to place audiences inside the event, encompassing them within nearly half a linear kilometre of projection-mapped architecture and bespoke lighting fixtures, and use music, sound and light to tell a story celebrating the 70-year history of the International Festival and the associated Edinburgh festivals, and the immeasurable impact that it has had on the cultural world."

'Flowering human spirit'

The piece charts the transformation of Edinburgh from the post-war years to today's festival city.

It draws upon the city's architecture, cultural heritage and technological innovation.

A newly commissioned musical score from award winning composer Nick Powell will also feature.

The work follows on from The Harmonium Project in 2015 and 2016's Deep Time.

Sir John Falconer, former Lord Provost of Edinburgh and the International Festival's first chairman, spoke of his ambition 70 years ago that the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival should "provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit".

Edinburgh's Lord Provost Frank Ross, said: "In 1947, my predecessor Lord Provost Falconer championed the inception of the International Festival.

"Today, I am as determined as ever to see the event bring people together from all over Scotland and the world.

"The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom will provide a beautiful and fitting celebration of our festivals and our city, and of course, the continued flowering of the human spirit.

"We are delighted to have supported our city's festivals for 70 years."

'Festival nation'

The opening event will take place on two nights for the first time, on Friday 4 August and 5 Saturday.

It runs from 22:00 to midnight on a 20 minute loop, with tickets available from 10:00 on Monday 3 July.

Ticket holders can access the event arena from 21:00. Non-ticket holders can also attend and will be admitted from 22:30 on a first come first served basis.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "I never tire of championing Scotland's outlook as a welcoming and progressive nation and this is particularly demonstrated in the arts.

"In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival boldly invited artists from across Europe to perform in the capital. 70 years on, we're revered as a festival nation that welcomes performers and audiences from every corner of the globe."

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