Over 250,000 to View Festival Fireworks Finale

Submitted by edg on Mon, 31 Aug '15 8.33pm

The Edinburgh International Festival draws to a close tonight with the traditional Festival Fireworks finale watched by an estimated 250,000 people. Dance is the theme of this year's Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, starting at 9.30pm, with a programme of polka, waltz, dances and contradances, and even a Galop.

People gathered in Princes St Gardens, Princes Street, Inverleith Park and viewpoints around the city will be watching 400,000 fireworks explode in the skies above Edinburgh Castle in the course of the 45 minutes, while the Scottish Chamber Orchestra play below in the Ross Band Stand.

The fireworks marks a successful year at the box office with the Edinburgh International Festival reporting record sales of over £3.8 million, up 19% on last year's festival.

Approximately 82% of all available tickets were issued, with total attendance estimated to be over 435,000.

There were many highlights of this year's festival from Juliette Binoche's appearance in Antigone to King Creosote and Anna Calvi in the new hub sessions.

There was buzz around the Festival’s Opening Event, The Harmonium Project, which marked the 50th Anniversary of the Festival Chorus with an accompanied digital display outside the Usher Hall (see photo above). Later in the festival, warm weather made for perfect conditions for Fanfare, which saw brass bands playing for free around the city.

"At the end of three exhilarating weeks, all that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world," said Festival Director, Fergus Linehan at the end of his first year at the reins.

"This alliance of artists, audiences, government agencies, the media, donors and sponsors is unprecedented and all of us at the Festival office are deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute to this remarkable organisation. We will continue to seek out artists of the highest calibre and present their work to the widest possible audience."