About Us

The Edinburgh International Festival exists to bring world-leading artists together with audiences

The Edinburgh International Festival was the inspired idea of Rudolf Bing, then the General Manager of Glyndebourne Opera, Henry Harvey Wood, the Head of the British Council in Scotland, and leaders from the City of Edinburgh. It was established in 1947 as a world class cultural event to bring together audiences and artists from around the world, and over 75 years has gone from strength to strength.

For three weeks in August, Scotland’s capital becomes an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts and an annual meeting point for people of all nations. The International Festival presents a programme featuring the finest performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre.

Our impact extends beyond the annual programme: our community learning and engagement and professional development programmes run throughout the year, reaching the widest possible audiences and contributing to the cultural and social life of Edinburgh and Scotland.

We exist to:

  • Present a wide range of performances from the world’s leading artists to the widest possible audience
  • Offer affordable international culture to audiences from Scotland, the rest of the UK and the world
  • Offer an international showcase for Scotland’s rich culture
  • Present innovative performances and programming and a commitment to new work
  • Actively welcome and make it possible for all sections of the Scottish and wider public to experience and enjoy the International Festival
  • Encourage everyone to participate in the arts throughout the year

Get in on the act – become a Friend today

  • Access to priority booking
  • Exclusive members events
  • Discounts and offers
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