About Us

We are the Edinburgh International Festival. The one that started it all. We were founded in 1947 to transcend political boundaries through a global celebration of performing arts.

The International Festival was the inspired idea of Rudolf Bing, a refugee of the Nazi regime who became the General Manager of Glyndebourne Opera, along with Henry Harvey Wood, the Head of the British Council in Scotland, and leaders from the City of Edinburgh. It was established in the aftermath of the Second World War as a 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.

Our mission

We exist to promote the exchange of ideas and deepen understanding between cultures through a global celebration of exceptional performing arts.

Our vision

To provide the deepest experience of the highest quality of art, for the broadest possible audience.


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