Thousands of FREE tickets released today for Edinburgh International Festival Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom

The Edinburgh International Festival today releases free tickets for the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom, the epic digital artwork which will mark the opening of the 2017 summer festival season and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the International Festival and Edinburgh’s enviable status as the world’s Festival City.

This year’s event evolves from previous Opening Events The Harmonium Project and the Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time, to become the biggest undertaking to date – a massive installation on the largest surface area yet which will run for two hours over two nights on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August (10pm – 12midnight).

Entry to the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom is free for everyone. Tickets are available from 10.00am on Monday 3rd July via and residents and visitors are urged to book in order to guarantee access to the event from the 10pm start on both evenings. Non-ticket holders are also welcome to attend and will be admitted from 10.30pm on a first come basis.

The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom takes place in St Andrew Square in Edinburgh’s New Town. The Georgian New Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and this year celebrates its 250th anniversary. The event transforms not only a single building but uses the facades around St Andrew Square to create a vast canvas for projection-mapped animations. The Square becomes an immersive environment of colour, texture, sounds and sensations that places the audience at the centre of a visually stunning digital constellation.

Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director, said: ‘Since 1947 the International Festival has welcomed the world to Edinburgh, creating an electric atmosphere in this city which has radiated back out across the globe. That energy has transformed Edinburgh and sparked not only the development of the Festival City we know today, but the creation of countless other festivals around the world. We’ll experience that transformative power first-hand in Bloom, as 59 Productions create a digital constellation in the centre of our city that places our story and Edinburgh’s people at its heart. It takes a huge amount of collaborative work to mount an event like this, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our partners. I’d like to thank all of them – Standard Life, the Scottish Government, EventScotland, the University of Edinburgh, Blue-i Theatre Technology and Mclcreate – their support enables us to present this incredible celebration of our Festival City in its birthday year’.

59 Productions, the multi-award winning company behind the video design of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games and the record-breaking V&A David Bowie exhibition has been commissioned to create the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom. The epic public artwork brings together large-scale animation and architectural projection mapping, celebrating the cultural reignition sparked by the Festival’s creation in 1947. Featuring a newly commissioned musical score from award winning composer Nick Powell, the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom charts the joyful transformation of Edinburgh, from the darkness and division of the post-war years to the colour and vibrancy of today’s Festival City. The event draws upon the architectural beauty of the New Town, Edinburgh’s rich cultural heritage and showcases the technological innovation for which the city is renowned.

Leo Warner, Founder of 59 Productions and Director of Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom said: ‘Following two wonderful years working with Fergus and his team at the International Festival to create increasingly ambitious and engaging opening events, we faced a challenge in conceiving a new piece befitting the significance of this anniversary year. We decided to place audiences inside the event, encompassing them within nearly half a linear kilometre of projection-mapped architecture and bespoke lighting fixtures, and use music, sound and light to tell a story celebrating the 70 year history of the International Festival and the associated Edinburgh festivals, and the immesurable impact that it has had on the cultural world.’

Standard Life’s Chief Executive Keith Skeoch, said: ‘We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Edinburgh International Festival’s Opening Event, particularly as it celebrates its 70th Anniversary. The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom will look back and celebrate the creativity and achievements of this world-class Festival. Both Standard Life and the International Festival have a rich heritage that reflects our shared commitment to excellence and our forward-looking approach, often leading the way through collaboration and innovation. The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom will bring many examples of this to life and will inspire others for the future too.’

In 2017, the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. Its origins date back to 1947 when Sir John Falconer – Lord Provost of Edinburgh and the International Festival’s first Chair – spoke of his ambition that the inaugural International Festival should ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’. 70 years later, Edinburgh has bloomed into the world’s Festival City and its impact has been a constant inspiration, propagating new festivals throughout Europe and beyond. The International Festival continues to celebrate our highest artistic achievements, our imagination and creativity, our generosity and diversity.

The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom is made possible by support from a portfolio of partners across the private and public sector. This is the second event in a three year partnership between the International Festival and Standard Life – the International Festival’s Opening Event Partner – which supports the event alongside other key funders including EventScotland and the University of Edinburgh, which have supported the Festival’s Opening Event since its inception in 2015. This year the Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom also enjoys support from the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO Fund. This year the EXPO Fund has made an additional £300,000 available to support the Festivals celebrating 70 years of the Festival City. Edinburgh International Festival is working with Essential Edinburgh to realise the event.

Sponsored by Standard Life

Supported by EventScotland

Supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund

Created by 59 Productions

In association with The University of Edinburgh

Technology Partner Blue-I Theatre Technology in partnership with mclcreate

Friday 4 & Saturday 5 August, 10.00pm – 12midnight.

Entry to the event is free. To guarantee access for the 10pm start there are a limited number of tickets for both nights available on 3 July at Ticket holders will have access to the arena from 9pm. Non-ticket holders will be admitted from 10.30pm on a first come basis.

Tickets are available at

Priority admission with free ticket
Tickets limited to 2 per person

#edintbloom @edintfest @standardlifeplc

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