Edinburgh’s festivals promise to be ‘distinctively Scottish and fiercely international’ when they return for 75th anniversary

Edinburgh's festivals have pledged to be "distinctively Scottish and fiercely international" when they return this summer for a landmark anniversary.

The city's major cultural events, which were first staged 75 years ago in the aftermath of the Second World War, have vowed to "bring the local and the international together, in acts of global solidarity that echo our founding spirit."

Evoking the origins of the city's world famous cultural celebrations, the festivals have set out plans for their forthcoming programmes to “dream, reflect, invent and imagine the world we all want to live in.”

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Organisers of the festivals have published a joint “declaration of intent” ahead of their full-scale comeback this summer following two years of disruption caused by the pandemic.

Edinburgh's festivals will celebrate their 75th anniversary when they return this summer. Picture: Jess Shurte
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The statement, which promises that this year's comeback events will be “mindful of the past and protective of the future,” has been backed by the International Festival, the Fringe, the Tattoo and the city’s celebrations of science, literature, film, storytelling, visual art, children’s shows and jazz.

The anniversary declaration includes a commitment to “bring Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland” through a mix of in-person events and online content.

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The festivals, who say their “founding spirit” is as relevant as ever, have pledged to "shed fresh light" on key issues shaping the future, including the climate emergency and human rights, in their 2022 programmes.

Other key pledges include “celebrating the element of risk and the joy of discovery that festivals bring,” inspiring local communities with “creative encounters on their doorstep,” and cultivating cultural talent.

Edinburgh's festivals will celebrate their 75th anniversary when they return this summer. Picture: Matt Beech

The declaration from the festivals states: “Formed in the shadow of a worldwide cataclysm, our first festivals sought to use culture as a healing balm to bring peoples and nations together in celebration of our common humanity and help ‘the flowering of the human spirit’.

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“Over the years that spirit has been sustained, making Edinburgh and our festivals a unique hub of cultural excellence, international exchange, inspirational experience and inclusive programming.

"Now, following the worldwide pandemic and in the face of numerous global issues, the festivals' founding spirit is as relevant as ever - and so in 2022 we will reflect on our past and reimagine our common future.”

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