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Have you spotted the Young People's Jury around at the International Festival this year? Here's what they've been up to...

At the International Festival this year, you may have spotted a group of young people enjoying lots of different shows...perhaps wearing a dinosaur mask? Maybe posing to have their photo taken? They are the International Festival Young People's Jury.

One jury member, Emma Gray, told a bit more about what they've been up to.

This year the Edinburgh International Festival has teamed up with Mammalian Diving Reflex to create the International Festival Young People’s Awards. Essentially, this involves 16 young people going to see 20 International Festival shows and then evaluating each performance. At the end of August we - the young people - will present each show with an award. However, the award categories are not necessarily the typical ‘Best Director’ or ‘Best Actor’ and are instead awards we come up with ourselves.

We each view 11 different shows in the International Festival for free, which provides an excellent chance to see things we might not usually go to for example, an opera or a ballet. What’s even more exciting is the fact that we often get to speak with the directors of the shows and ask them anything we want which is such an amazing opportunity and overall a very cool experience.

Along with meeting the directors and other people involved in the shows, we also get access to things like the massive projectors used for Deep Time, the International Festival’s opening event. That was very cool and we got a really good view of the Castle, which was too good an Instagram photo to miss.

Overall, I feel so lucky to get this opportunity because though I’ve lived in Edinburgh my whole life, I can probably count the number of festival shows I’ve seen on one hand- prior to this at least. This project is making the International Festival more accessible to young people such as myself, and I’m excited to see the rest of the shows lined up.

-Emma :)

Photo Credit:

All photos © Mihaela Bodlovic - International Festival Photographer