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10 08 2019 Eif Neneh Cherry Gaelle Beri 009 Neneh Cherry | Photo: Gaelle Beri

The 2019 International Festival in photos


Relive some of the most beautiful, breathtaking moments from this year's festival and join us again next year from 7-31 August 2020!

Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event: LA Phil at Tynecastle

We kicked off the festival with a night of sunshine and movie music at Tynecastle Park and were even joined by some very special guests...

Contemporary Music

Building on the success of last year, the International Festival returned to Leith Theatre with Edinburgh Gin and other venues across the city for an eclectic programme of contemporary music. Leith Theatre lived up to its reputation as ‘the best live music venue in Scotland’ (The List) and with performances from Kate Tempest, Neneh Cherry, Jarvis Cocker and many more, this year's series brought some of the most unique and exciting voices in contemporary music today to Edinburgh.


Dance companies from across the globe came to perform in this year's International Festival, from China to Northern Ireland, Canada to Burkina Faso, and Scotland to the US. There was even some home-grown talent on display, as choreographer Oona Doherty worked with 12 young female dancers from House of Jack, a Leith based hip-hop collective. They went on to dance Episode II – The Sugar Army in all four Edinburgh performances of Hard to Soft: A Belfast Prayer


This year's thought-provoking programme asked potent questions about the world today. Productions like The Secret River and Red Dust Road provided beautiful adaptations of acclaimed literary works, while Peter Gynt and Oedipus re-imagined past classics... 


As well as our breath-taking concert performances of Orfeo ed Euridice, Manon Lescaut and Götterdämmerung, this year's programme included two beautifully staged operas. The pastoral scenes of Eugene Onegin couldn't be more different to the gritty oil rigs of Breaking The Waves, but they had in common outstanding casts, atmospheric staging, and a fondness for a revolving stage...  

Classical Music

From Wagner to West Side Story, and from intimate recitals at St Cecilia's Hall to our charming Queen's Hall series and packed houses at the Usher Hall, this year's classical music programme was full of old favourites and new surprises. 

You Are Here and The Departure Lounge

A series of readings, discussions, informal performances and hosted dinners, The Departure Lounge was a new brand new element of this year's You Are Here programme. Based in the The Lyceum Rehearsal Studio, The Departure Lounge provided a space for the public to meet with writers, directors, musicians, choreographers and performers, sharing fresh perspectives and diverse insights shaped by who they are and where they’re from. 

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

As has been tradition for nearly 40 years, this year's International Festival went out with a bang. 400,000 fireworks, a world class orchestra, and one of the most magnificent settings in the world provided a fitting end to three weeks of outstanding music, dance, theatre and opera from some of the world's greatest artists. 

Other news


Creating the Festival Ambassadors

We're working with Leith Academy during a three-year residency designed to enrich the life of the school and as part of that, a group of students are acting as ambassadors of the partnership and overseeing all projects.


You Are Here with Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Filmed as part of the You Are Here season at the 2019 International Festival, Serge Aimé Coulibaly improvises a dance provocation on an artist's impact on the world.


Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra to visit 2020 Edinburgh International Festival in celebration of Japan’s Olympic Summer

Announcement made as Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs Fiona Hyslop visits Tokyo ahead of 2020 Olympic Games​​.


Fireworks and Symphonie fantastique: The International Festival Finale

On Monday night the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert provided a fitting finale to the 2019 International Festival. Here's a look behind the scenes from some of the people who make the magic happen.