The EIF joins the pre-announcement game .. the Edinburgh International Festival has announced that Antigone, starring Juliette Binoche,will be part of the drama programme at the 2015 festival. Public booking for Antigone commences on November 29th, 2014. This production can also be seen at the Barbican in London during March 2015. In addition, it was initially announced that public booking for concerts and recitals at the Usher Hall and Queen’s Hall would commence on February 14th, 2015. However, EIF subsequently backtracked on this plan after complaints from regular festival-goers. The complete 2015 festival programme will be announced on Wednesday March 18th, 2015 (the usual date).
It may be my imagination but the Fringe’s roadshows for prospective performers seem to be getting earlier. There are two in late November, one in London and the other in Edinburgh. The latest information on all the planned roadshows can be found here on the Fringe website.
Submissions are now open for the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Details can be found here on the EIFF website.
Sir Jonathan Mills’ time as Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Festival came to an end this week. The EIF website has produced this celebration of his tenure. Fergus Linehan officially took over the role with effect from October 1st.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara is stepping down from the role to pursue other activities.
On December 16th, 2014 the Edinburgh International Film Festival announced that Mark Adams has been appointed as the new Artistic Director. He will begin his tenure in March 2015.
Creative Scotland has announced details of its stable 3-year funding for 2015-2018. £100m will be made available. The Festival & King’s theatres will receive funding for the first time under this scheme while the Royal Lyceum and Traverse see reductions in their grants of 17.5% and 11.1% respectively. See the article in The Stage.
Thom Dibdin (alledinburghtheatre.com) reports that St. Stephen’s is up and running as a community centre. A tenant is currently being sought to run the building during the 2015 festival. It had previously been used as a Fringe venue for a number of years by Aurora Nova, and more recently by Northern Stage and The Traverse.
Tommy Sheppard’s Salt ‘n’ Sauce Promotions has signed a deal to operate the Assembly Rooms in 2015. It was originally awarded a three year contract in 2012 when the venue re-opened after major renovation work. See the article in Chortle.
The Edinburgh Tattoo plans to hire and install two performance stages on the Esplanade each summer, alongside its 8,500-seat arena. They will be made available to concert promoters, event organisers and the city’s arts festivals. See the article in The Scotsman.
Two conferences will take place to discuss Edinburgh’s current cultural status, and to make recommendations to the city council on how it can be “improved, continued and secured for the future”. The venue for the first conference will be Summerhall on December 8th, 2014. The second will take place in February. See articles in The Scotsman and The Herald.
BBC News reports that The List, the Edinburgh-based what’s on guide, is to become a free title. It will move from a monthly issue to every two months with print runs increasing from 18,000 to 25,000. The preview and weekly editions during the Edinburgh Festival season will continue.
The Fringe launched its search for the official 2015 Fringe poster back in November. This annual competition is open to all Scottish schools. The closing date for entries is March 6th, 2015.
Ii has been announced that Virgin Money will continue to sponsor the Edinburgh International Festival Fireworks Concert for a further three years, taking it up to 2017. See the article in The Scotsman.
The International Festival announced its concerts and recital programme for the 2015 festival on February 3rd, 2015. The online guides can be accessed here. Artistic Director, Fergus Linehan, took the opportunity to caution against standstill funding of the festival. See this article in The Scotsman.
The International Festival is to branch out into children’s entertainment and family shows for the first time this year.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that its Expo Funding (of Edinburgh’s Festivals) will provide £2.25m in the 2015-16 financial year.
The Stage reports that the arts charity Ideas Tap is to close in June. It has been in existence since 2008. Among its works it included the annual Underbelly award which provided Edinburgh Fringe runs for a number of companies. It will honour current commitments, which includes showcasing four shows on the Fringe this year.
The Stage reports that the proposed festival campsite will be sited near the airport, eight miles from the city centre.
March saw the launches of the full Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival programmes. Further details can be found here.
Richard Findlay has been appointed chair of Creative Scotland, taking over from Sandy Crombie. Findlay was formerly chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre.
Rupert Thomson, artistic director of Summerhall, is to leave to take up a post at the Southbank Centre in London. He has been at Summerhall since 2011 when it was first converted from the old Edinburgh Vets school into an arts centre. The venue grew in popularity almost from the date of its inception. See this article in The Scotsman.
Zinnie Harris has been appointed associate director at the Traverse Theatre. See the article in The Stage.
Building work in the Bristo Square area means that the Udderbelly will move to nearby George Square in 2015. It is hoped that this will be a temporary move.
St. Stephen’s Centre (the former church) will operate under the name of Momentum Venues at this year’s Fringe. It will be run by theatre company Sell A Door in partnership with the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. There will be three performance spaces with 450, 200 and 50 seats respectively. See the article in The Stage for further information.
Princes Street Gardens will be used to host three open air concerts during the final week of this year’s Fringe. See the article in the Edinburgh Evening News.
In what appears to have been a controversial tendering process, Underbelly has ousted the Ladyboys of Bangkok from the Meadows site during the Fringe. See the articles in the Edinburgh Evening News and STV Edinburgh.
The Underbelly subsequently announced details of their Circus Hub on the Meadows site which will host 12 shows during the 2015 Fringe. See the article in The Guardian for further details.
The Festival of Ideas will take place at St. Stephens on March 20th and 21st, 2015. Sessions wil include a discussion on festival funding.
The launches of the various summer festivals can be found on the pre-festival stuff page.
The Edinburgh Art Festival announced details of its 2015 commissions programme in mid-May.
A study was commissioned in August 2014 to investigate the perceived dangers to Edinburgh’s pre-eminent position as the world leader in the area of festivals. Thundering Hooves 2.0 was subsequently published in May 2015. I will cover this subject in more detail in this post.
Seven year old John Imray is the winner of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition.
The British Council’s biennial Edinburgh showcase takes place this year. Details were announced a month ago. It has introduced a new website specifically for the showcase .. at least I think that it is new, or perhaps it just passed me by previously?
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society announced on Tuesday 23rd June 2015 that nominations are now open to stand for election to both the Board of Directors and to the Participants’ Council. Only members of the society may stand for election, and only members may vote in those elections. The closing date for nominations will be noon on Wednesday 22nd July 2015. Any individual who wishes to become a member of the society must do so by August 10th 2015 if he/she wishes to vote in these elections. Voting will commence on or around Wednesday 29th July 2015 and will continue until the AGM on Tuesday 25th August 2015. The results will be published on Wednesday 26th August 2015 .. and indeed they were, and can be found here.
This year’s Edinburgh Festival Carnival Parade will take place on July 19th, starting at 2pm.
Closing press releases at the end of the festival, which include statistics on tickets issued, were made available by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Summaries of the closing press release from the Edinburgh International Festival can be found in various newspapers, including The Scotsman.
Northern Stage will put on its 2015 festival productions at Summerhall. It had previously resided at St. Stephen’s for several years and at King’s Hall last year.
Paines Plough will be bringing its portable Roundabout theatre back to Edinburgh this year. It will once again be sited at Summerhall. Details of its summer programme, including the Edinburgh Fringe performance, can be found here.
An unseemly war has broken out among the competing Free Festival organisations over the use of the Cowgatehead venues. Articles in the correspondents section of Chortle provide further information. They include … Can we end this brutal Fringe Free-for-all … This mucky affair has damaged the free model.
Mark Thomson, the artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, has announced his resignation. He will leave in May 2016, having been in the role for thirteen years.
Bob Last, the chairman of the Edinburgh Film Festival, has stepped down with immediate effect two weeks before the 2015 festival.
Faith Liddell, the director of Festivals Edinburgh, is to step down in the autumn. Festivals Edinburgh, which was set up in response to the original Thundering Hooves report from 2006, is responsible for marketing the city’s festivals.
Allan Little, former BBC journalist, will take over as chair of the Edinburgh International Book Festival in October. He succeeds Susan Rice who has been chair since 2001.
Neil Murray (Executive Producer) and Graham McLaren (Associate Director) are to leave the National Theatre of Scotland next year to take up positions as directors with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
Two conferences (under the banner of Desire Lines) took place back in November 2014 and February this year to discuss Edinburgh’s current cultural status, and to make recommendations to the city council on how it can be “improved, continued and secured for the future”. The results of these conferences and the associated public consultations has now been published – it can be downloaded from the Desire Lines website. A further conference will be held at Summerhall on May 19th, 2015 to discuss the findings.
Information on festival programme launches can be found here. In addition, links to critics’ recommendations are at the bottom of the page.
Edinburgh International Festival
Fergus Linehan announced the full details of his first Edinburgh International Festival on Wednesday 18th March, 2015. The programme brochure can be viewed online or downloaded in pdf format.
Early feedback from the critics can be found in The Scotsman.
This punter’s view. The drama programme is strong this year. Antigone with Juliette Binoches, Complicite’s The Encounter and Robert Le Page’s 887 are all must-sees. In the dance programme Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress and Lo Real are likely probabilities.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The British Council Edinburgh Showcase takes place biennially. Details of the 2015 showcase which comprises 30 festival productions were announced in mid-May.
The Made in Scotland 2015 showcase was unveiled on May 20th. Made in Scotland is a curated showcase of Scottish performance on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. There are twenty one shows in this year’s showcase.
I make use of the information in both the British Council and Made in Scotland showcases to help me when deciding on which shows to see at the Fringe.
The so called “big four” (Pleasance, Assembly, Gilded Balloon and Underbelly) announced their 2015 programmes on May 19th. As I have said before .. being old school I will personally wait for the official Fringe launch which will take place June 4th. If you cannot wait you can find information on their joint programme brochure on this Underbelly page.
Summerhall announced its 2015 festival programme on May 19th.
Even the Traverse has given in to the temptation of announcing its programme prior to the official Fringe launch, albeit just by two days. The online brochure (issuu-based) can be viewed here. Thom Dibdin in The Stage writes about the programme.
And finally! … it is June 4th, 2015, the date of the official launch of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. My copy of the programme brochure dutifully arrived in the morning post, 435 pages and weighing in at just under 1.5 pounds (or 660 grams if you are metric). Early articles from the mainstream media include Lyn Gardner (The Guardian), The List, The Stage and The Scotsman.
Bella’s Festival Preview (added June 24th).
Edinburgh Art Festival
This punter’s view. I am slowly mulling over the programme. Two photography exhibitions appeal to me at the moment: Lee Miller and Picasso at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Bailey’s Stardust at the Scottish National Gallery.
The Edinburgh Art Festival announced details of its 2015 commissions programme in mid-May. An article on the programme can be found in Artlyst.
Edinburgh Magic Festival
The Cinderella of Edinburgh’s various festivals launched its 2015 programme on Wednesday 22nd April, 2015. I say Cinderella because the Festivals Edinburgh organisation does not recognise it, nor does The Scotsman tend to say very much about it even though it is now in its 6th year. All a bit bemusing!
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
They have joined the “let’s stagger the launch” club. The first part of the programme was announced on Monday 20th April, 2015. The full launch will take place on Thursday 30th April, 2015. Articles on part 1 of the launch can be found in The List and The Edinburgh Reporter.
Initial news on Forest Fringe’s 2015 visit to Edinburgh can be found here.
The full programme was eventually announced on Monday 22nd June 2015.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Death by a thousand individual announcements mercifully came to an end on Wednesday May 27th, 2015 when the Edinburgh International Film Festival finally unveiled its full 2015 programme.
Edinburgh International Book Festival
The unveiling of the Book Festival’s 2015 programme on Wednesday June 10th, 2015 is the final launch of this year’s summer festivals. The programme can be downloaded from the Book Festival website.
Recommendations from critics and others
I will add selected links here until early August.
Bella’s Festival Preview (from theatre people in Scotland in BellaCaledonia).
14 highlights at the Edinburgh Art Festival (from The List).
Natasha Tripney’s Fringe highlights (in The Stage).
Fringe and EIF recommendations (Whatsonstage.com).
Edinburgh Festivals: Top 5 picks (The Skinny).
Edinburgh Fringe 2015 round up: the best of what’s on (Independent).
Fest preview guide (Festmag).
Edinburgh Art Festival 2015 review (Observer).
Edinburgh Fringe 2015 – 15 best shows (Lyn Gardner in The Guardian).
Poetry picks for Edinburgh Festival (The Skinny).