EDINBURGH’S festivals were today promised increased funding as an ambitious programme of world premieres, new commissions and international gatherings was unveiled.
The Scottish Government, the city council, EventScotland and Creative Scotland have combined forces to provide the funding boost.
Highlights of the 2012 festivals – marking the Year of Creative Scotland – will include the world premiere of a new work by composer James MacMillan, a series of major public art commissions in the New Town, a World Dance Feste, the first ever World Fringe Congress, a World Jazz Orchestra directed by Joe Temperley, and The Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference 2012.
As part of the £3.2 million funding announced today, the Scottish Government increased its Expo Fund contribution from £2m to £2.25m.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Edinburgh’s festivals are known all over the world and provide a platform to showcase our rich culture and exceptional creative talent, as well as raise the international profile of Scotland.”
The festivals’ peak summer period will coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and the programme is intended to put events in Edinburgh at the heart of the UK’s cultural “offer” for this Olympic year.
The Edinburgh Art Festival will feature newly commissioned, publicly sited artworks which will celebrate Edinburgh’s rich architectural heritage in a series of installations around its historic monuments and public spaces.
The Edinburgh International Festival will present the world premiere of a new opera by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong and the Scottish premiere of an opera by James McMillan both performed by Scottish Opera, alongside a new production from theatre company Vanishing Point and the world premiere of a MacMillan work performed by the Hebrides Ensemble.
Edinburgh Mela World Dance Feste 2012 will be a new unique platform for dance, combining traditional dance forms from around the globe with new work.
The Fringe will continue the successful Made in Scotland showcase for the best of Scottish theatre and dance and will also host the inaugural World Fringe Congress, bringing together Fringe organisers from around the globe to exchange ideas and create a legacy of lasting networks.
The Jazz & Blues Festival will feature two Edinburgh Jazz Festival orchestras and a programme of ambitious collaborations bringing together Scottish and international musicians as part of The “World of Jazz”.
The Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference 2012, inspired by the 1962 Writers’ Conference in the city, will bring leading Scottish and international writers together for a series of discussions.
And this year’s Tattoo will mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee with a themed productionfeaturing specially commissioned music, dance displays and graphic installations.
Steve Cardownie, city council festival and events champion, said: “Edinburgh has an enviable international reputation as a festival city and supporting the cultural ambitions of the festivals makes perfect sense given the proven positive impact they have on the people and economy of the city.”