The Edinburgh International Festival is the leading event in Scotland's cultural calendar and turns the capital city into the world's cultural hotspot every August.

In 2018, world-leading artists in music, dance, opera and theatre from 31 nations came to perform over three weeks at the highly esteemed Edinburgh International Festival. The festival began with the Standard Life opening event Five Telegrams, which is inspired by First World War records and weaves orchestral scores, digital artworks and live participation together in a production which was projected onto the Usher Hall.

Programme highlights included three new works from Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, classical music from the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, dance from Company L-E-V, a celebration of popular Scottish Music called Light on the Shore with Edinburgh Gin Seaside, and La Cenerentola from Opéra de Lyon.

The whole event concluded with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, a spectacular firework display over Edinburgh Castle's ramparts set to live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.


Since 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival has attracted the biggest stars of stage and concert halls, with luminaries ranging from Maria Callas to Sir Ian McKellen, Yehudi Menuhin to Margot Fonteyn, Pavarotti to Nicola Benedetti.

Designed to bring people together and create a festival spirit through great art after World War II, the Edinburgh International Festival has always aimed to present a programme of classical music, opera, theatre and dance of the highest possible standard, with the director inviting the best artists in the world to perform. It continues to create a wide breadth of thrilling cultural experiences for all who attend.