Edinburgh International Festival announces outdoor event The Ghost Lights for this August

Posted on 17 June 2020

It has been announced that the spirit of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) will be revived at least in one way, shape, and form with a new outdoor event entitled "The Ghost Lights." In a bid to keep culture alive and well in the Scottish capital, EIF will unveil a series of "artistic interventions" for August after the festival was announced as being cancelled for the first time in seven decades due to the pandemic.

The Ghost Lights will fuse "spectacle" with "performance and participation." It won't be the first time that EIF offered something a little different. In 2017, the festival put on a phenomenal evening light show called Bloom to mark its 70th anniversary.

Bloom 2017 marked 70 years since the Edinburgh International Festival was founded. Started after the end of World War II, the festival was meant to "provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit" and has "bloomed significantly" as its "impact has pollinated" the whole world.

The spirit of the Edinburgh International Festival lives on!

In a recent statement, EIF mentioned they were exploring innovative solutions on how "to mark the festival season in a way that will bring some joy to our community, and remind the world of the incredible experience that is the Festival City.

The Ghost Lights is named after the single light bulb that shines on stage when a theatre or venue is unoccupied or closed. “It is a symbol that, while the performance is over for now, the building will, once again, be filled with laughter, tears and applause.

"The Ghost Lights will incorporate a series of artistic interventions across the city throughout the month of August, letting the world know that the spark of the Festival still burns bright."

No specific locations for the outdoor event have been announced as of yet, nor has any information been released on whether it will be free or a ticketed event. However, what is certain according to a spokesperson for the festival, The Ghost Lights will not involve mass gatherings and will follow all current government and NHS coronavirus guidelines.

But, wait that's not all EIF has in store this August!

What's more, EIF have teamed up with BBC Radio 3 to present a series of 15 archived Queen's Hall concerts, beginning on 10 August 2020 with a 2009 recording of pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja reimagining one of Chopin's final concerts, which was played in 1848 in a private house on Queen Street in Edinburgh.

In other news... Sinking Edinburgh Festival Fringe is thrown a lifeline

Earlier this week it was announced that the Fringe Society will receive a £1.2 million financial aid package from the Scottish government in the form of two grants and one interest-free loan to be repaid in six years. The move marks a pivotal step in ensuring that Scottish culture will continue and that the show will indeed go on for next year. It is estimated that Edinburgh's five August festivals were due to welcome approximately 4.4 million visitors and 25,000 artists this year.

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.