The Edinburgh International Festival is looking for a new sponsor for the Festival Fireworks Concert after the Bank of Scotland announced that 2010 will draw to a close its sponsorship of the event after 16 years. The Fireworks Concert has had just two title sponsors during its 28 year history - Bank of Scotland and Glenlivet.
As the grand finale of the Edinburgh Festival, the fireworks event attracts some 220,000 to 250,000 people each year, watching from vantage points around the city. It takes a pyrotechnic team of fifteen people six days to lay out around 4 tonnes of fireworks, including the festival fireworks signature "waterfall", where a shower of white fireworks cascade down the face of Edinburgh castle rock. The 45 minute concert is the biggest fireworks event choreographed to live music in Europe.
Lisa Stephenson, Head of Sponsorship Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, parent company of the Bank of Scotland , said: “We are proud to have helped the Fireworks Concert grow and develop into the spectacular finale to the Edinburgh International Festival that it is today. However, we feel that the time is now right for someone new to come on board and work with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Festival.”
Jonathan Mills, Festival Director, putting the bank's decision in as postive a light as possible, said that 2011 offered a “rare opportunity for innovative businesses to benefit from association with our iconic event".
"We are always looking at ways of developing and evolving, and we look forward to working with new partners large and small who can share in shaping the future of this spectacular event while taking advantage of one of the country’s highest profile sponsorship opportunities.”
The Festival and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra are hoping to attract local and international businesses of all sizes as a family of sponsors to replace the event's sponsorship valued at reportedly £250,000.
Roy McEwan, Managing Director of the SCO, said that "conversations with interested parties are already underway...not only for a title sponsor but also for smaller Scottish businesses to benefit from involvement.”
Lloyds TSB Scotland continues its sponsorship Inspiring Performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and to mark the final year of partnership, Bank of Scotland is offering hundreds of free tickets to enjoy the Fireworks Concert in Princes Street Gardens to local community groups.