St Andrew Square to be transformed for the Edinburgh International Festival opening event
- Arusa Qureshi
- 26 June 2017
New digital commission Bloom launches 70th EIF
Following the huge success of last year's opening event Deep Time and 2015's The Harmonium Project, the Edinburgh International Festival will once again kick things off with a bang with the third in a series of digital commissions by 59 Productions. Bloom is a celebration of 70 years of the International Festival, as well as Edinburgh's status as the world's Festival City, using animation and architectural projection mapping to highlight the widespread cultural impact of both the city and its festival.
Created in partnership with Standard Life, this year's opening event will differ from the previous two, making use of not just a single building but the facades around St Andrew Square, providing a more prominent canvas for the various animations. The event will also feature a newly commissioned score from Nick Powell, who is known for his work on the West End and on Broadway and who previously composed the music for Lanark: A Life in Three Acts at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2015. Bloom charts Edinburgh's journey from the darker period of the post-war years to the creativity and achievements of the city today, drawing attention to the architectural and technological innovations that have resulted in its rich cultural heritage.
St Andrew Square will be transformed into an animated wonderland full of colour and sound for two nights on Fri 4 and Sat 5 Aug, placing audiences at the centre of this unique digital artwork. The performance runs from 10pm to midnight on a 20 minute loop, and audiences will be fully immersed in the projections, with the opportunity to explore the Square at their own pace.
Though entry is free, a limited number of tickets will be available from 10am on Mon 3 Jul, which will guarantee access for the 10pm start. Non-ticket holders will still be able to attend but will be admitted from 10.30pm on a first come basis.
Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director, said: 'Since 1947 the International Festival has welcomed the world to Edinburgh, creating an electric atmosphere in this city which has radiated back out across the globe. That energy has transformed Edinburgh and sparked not only the development of the Festival City we know today, but the creation of countless other festivals around the world. We'll experience that transformative power first-hand in Bloom, as 59 Productions create a digital constellation in the centre of our city that places our story and Edinburgh's people at its heart.'
Leo Warner, Founder of 59 Productions and Director of Bloom said: 'Following two wonderful years working with Fergus and his team at the International Festival to create increasingly ambitious and engaging opening events, we faced a challenge in conceiving a new piece befitting the significance of this anniversary year. 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.'
Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom, Fri 4 & Sat 5 Aug. Tickets available Mon 3 Jul at eif.co.uk/bloom.