Edinburgh International Festival 2012 closes with a bang tonight as Virgin Money Fireworks Concert brings the city together in celebration.
Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival said "Festival 2012 was a year of partnerships and collaborations. I would like to thank our funders both public and private who came together to support our ambitions in this special year for the UK. In hard times as well as good it remains one of the world’s most important examples of the power of culture to transform lives. In sharing this year’s Festival with audiences this has felt both real and important and I thank everyone who shared in these wonderful moments."
The Edinburgh International Festival this year was a global celebration working in partnership with the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Event Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council to present the most ambitious programme possible in 2012 while the world’s eyes were on the UK.
The Festival also worked with London 2012 Festival and the World Shakespeare Festival, and many international tourism and cultural agencies, particularly the British Council to widen its reach internationally.
More than 3,000 artists from more than 47 nations, and audiences from more than 70 nations, gathered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012.
The excitement around shows at the Festival this year was reflected in the media with many artists and shows being awarded 5 star reviews including NVA’s Speed of Light, London Symphony Orchestra, Daniil Trifonov, Ballet Preljocaj, Tatyana, Waiting for Orestes: Electra, Watt, Les Naufragés du fol Espoir, The Rape of Lucrece and Meine faire Dame – ein Sprachlabor among many others.
Arnold Clark supported the Festival for the first time in 2012 with a fleet of more than 30 vehicles ferrying artists and technical equipment around the city.
Jenners celebrated its first year as Official Retail Partner with a stunning display of 1,000 doves suspended over its atrium.
One of the Festival’s most popular Twitter conversations highlighted the opportunity for those under 26 to buy £8 tickets on the day seeing a rise of 73% this year. Tickets sold to people under 18 also rose by just over 30% on 2011's figures.
The Festival’s facebook reach extended to 80,000 people through Festival 2012.
Instant feedback through Twitter included:
"Théâtre du Soleil's Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores) has blown my mind tonight. Thankyou. #eif Rachael Clerke"
"Festival? Amazing-tival, more like. #edintfest @edintfest Benjamin Pilfold"
"I think that might be it. I think that A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It) @edintfest is my festival favourite. Wonderful. RANDOM. Nicola K"
The Festival welcomed more diverse audiences this year with an 11% rise in the take up of discounts for people with disabilities.
Festival Friends and INsiders got backstage and behind the scenes at 2008: Macbeth, Makropulos Case, London Symphony Orchestra, European Youth Orchestra among others throughout the Festival period.
Festival backstage, conceived and funded by Standard Life, was celebrated at the BBC Big Screen in Festival Square with 10 films sharing insights and glimpses into the Festival’s workings and artists lives, still available to watch on the Festival’s website www.eif.co.uk.
Around 600 of Edinburgh’s primary and secondary school children took part in workshops with Deborah Colker’s Dance Company following their acclaimed performances of Tatyana at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
Live broadcasts throughout the Festival on BBC Radio 3 as well as dedicated editions of programmes across the broadcaster enhanced the Festival’s reach.
The opening week of the Festival saw the staging of the inaugural Edinburgh International Culture Summit organised in partnership with the Scottish Government, UK Government and the British Council at the Scottish Parliament with more than 30 nations discussing and debating the role of culture. Countries which sent delegations to Edinburgh included Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Tanzania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA.
The Edinburgh International Festival in 2012 took £2.83 million at the box office making it a record year, an increase of 9% in sales income and an increase of 11% in number of tickets issued on Festival 2011.
Festival 2013 will be launched on Wednesday 13 March and runs 9 August – 1 September 2013.