You are here

All you need to know about the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom

We're looking forward to welcoming you all to the opening weekend of the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August.

Come and enjoy this special anniversary with us as we celebrate 70 years of the International Festival with the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom – reflecting the explosion of colour, vibrancy and optimism that supported the arrival of the International Festival in 1947, and the subsequent blooming of Edinburgh as the world’s Festival City.

The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom is designed to be enjoyed by moving around the arena experiencing different parts of the projections on the buildings that surround you. 

The event is free and open to everyone from 10.30pm until midnight. Read on to find out all you’ll need to know about attending the opening event.

How do I join in? 

Everyone is welcome to come and join the celebration on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August. No ticket is required from 10.30pm until midnight. People will be let into the arena on a first come basis, subject to capacity, once the initial ticketed audience have started leaving the space. 

Ticket holders will get access to the arena from 9.00pm on the night you booked. Please arrive at the St Andrew Square arena by 9.45pm as your ticket is no longer valid after 10.00pm.

If you can no longer come, please let us know so that someone else can use your tickets. Alternatively, give them to a friend!

What is the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom?

The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom will see St Andrew Square transformed into a magical night garden through light and sound installations, and large-scale projection.

Stroll around the space to explore different parts of the installation as the buildings burst into life around you – immersing you in a fast moving world of colour, texture and sound.

The event can be seen on both Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August and will run from 10.00pm until midnight on each night. The recommended viewing time is 20 minutes, but you are free to stay as long or short as you wish to explore the event.


Where do I go?

Entrance gates and ticket check points for the St Andrew Square arena will be on George Street, entering from the east end of George Street and Hanover Street. A map of the arena including entrances and exits is below. The viewing space is on the roads of the Square primarily. You can see the arena in blue on the map below. 

Please leave time for entering and exiting the area as we anticipate large numbers of people at the event.

You can find full and up to date information on travelling to the event here including road closures, and access at the event here.

Access map for the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom

Share your experience

We hope that you enjoy the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom and have a great time celebrating our 70 years with us! We’d love to see your photos and videos from the event, and to see you enjoying yourselves!

Share your photos and videos with us on Twitter and Instagram using #EdinBloom and #EdintFest70. You can also share your photos with us in the Facebook event.

Safety and security

In the interests of safety and security at the event, bags may be subject to security searches. Please do not bring bags larger than 30cmx30cmx15cm into the arena.

If you see anything suspicious during the event, please report it to the nearest steward, police officer, or member of International Festival staff.

A full list of prohibited items can be found here.


Most importantly, have a great time celebrating the 70th anniversary of the International Festival and the Festival City.

Photos © Lesley Martin

Photograph the Festival

A unique opportunity for emerging photographers to get unparalleled access to the International Festival. Read on to learn how to apply.

Five Telegrams part of 14-18 NOW

Five Telegrams, a unique collaboration between Anna Meredith and 59 Productions, will be presented as the Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival.

Portrait Exhibition of Castlebrae High School Pupils

A permanent installation of photographic portraits is a lasting legacy of the International Festival’s relationship with the school.