Edinburgh International Festival's 75th anniversary is a celebration of humanity at its best – Scotsman comment

In a few months’ time, Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium will play host to an ‘international’ of a distinctly different kind to the usual.

Thousands of people are expected to pack the national stadium to watch not 30 rugby players in action but “a performance somewhere between dance, acrobatics, theatre and choral singing”.

For anyone who has not already guessed, Macro – a show featuring Australian circus and dance theatre artists working together with Scottish performers such as the National Youth Choir of Scotland – will be a centrepiece of the Edinburgh International Festival as this most glorious event celebrates its 75th anniversary.

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Director Fergus Linehan promised it would be a “completely different event to anything we’ve ever done before in a completely new venue for us”.

Murrayfield will be hosting the opening night event at this year's Edinburgh International Festival.
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The programme includes the biggest showcase of Australian culture in its history in a line-up that is as global as ever with performers from Romania, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, India, France, Malaysia, New Zealand and other countries.

Given the festival began in the aftermath of the Second World War, with a focus on international friendship, it is unsurprising that artists from one country, Russia, will not be there.

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While they are excluded, the rest of us can look forward to an event filled with joy and beauty which also raises thought-provoking questions about some of the world’s greatest problems, with the treatment of refugees a major theme.

It may not be designed as a rebuke to Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin, but the festival’s values show humanity at its best in stark contrast to his murderous, immoral ambition.

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