Jun 26 2017 | By More

Details of Bloom, EIF 2017 opening event

St Andrew Square will burst into Bloom on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 of August 2017 to herald the opening of the 70th anniversary Edinburgh International Festival.

The free son-et-lumiere event will run from 10pm to midnight on both evenings. It is once again being created by 59 Productions, the company behind last year’s Deep Time and The Harmonium Project in 2015.

Blooming Marvellous!
(Image: 59 Productions)

This time, director Leo Warner’s visual transformations will not be of a single building or edifice, but all the facades around St Andrew Square which he will use to create a vast canvas for projection-mapped animations.

According to Warner, the 20 minute presentation will: “tell a story celebrating the 70 year history of the International Festival and the associated Edinburgh festivals, and the immeasurable impact that it has had on the cultural world.”

The whole Square will become an immersive environment of colour, texture, sounds and sensations. Projected from inside the gardens, the audience will walk round the streets surrounding the gardens, with visuals towering over them.

Bloom is a reference to remarks made by the EIF’s first chair and city Provost John Falconer who spoke of his ambition that the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 should “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit”.

The work will feature a newly commissioned musical score from composer Nick Powell and according to the EIF will: “chart 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.”

Free tickets

The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom runs from 10pm to midnight on a 20 minute loop, allowing audience members to explore it at their own pace. Free tickets allowing access to the event arena from 9pm will be released at 10am on Monday July 3.

Ticket holders can access the event arena from 9pm ahead of the event beginning at 10pm on both evenings. Non-ticket holders are also welcome to attend and will be admitted from 10.30pm on a first come basis. The event will be open access after 10.30pm, each night.

Bloom draws upon the architectural beauty of the new town, Edinburgh’s rich cultural heritage and the technological innovation for which the city is renowned.

Warner added: “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.”


The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom
St Andrew Square.
Friday 4/Saturday 5 August 2017.
Evenings: 10pm-midnight (Doors from 9.30pm).
Tickets available at www.eif.co.uk/bloom  from 10am, Monday 3 July 2017.
Ticket-free entry to the arena from 10.30pm each night (subject to capacity).


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