Edinburgh festival benefits from Olympics

Edinburgh International Festival’s partnership with the Olympic Games has helped it increase funding from both public and private sector sources, so that turnover from this year’s events will for the first time exceed £10m.

Jonathan Mills, festival director, said that many supporters had recognised 2012 as a special year, with income from public sector bodies up by 12 per cent and money from patrons, sponsors, foundations and trusts up by 15 per cent.

Almost 3,000 artists from 47 countries will gather in Edinburgh for the event, which starts on August 9, three days before the end of the Olympics.

Mr Mills said: “We rejoice in our partnership with the Olympic Games, a partnership that exemplifies the greatest sporting and finest cultural celebrations in the world standing shoulder to shoulder in the same country.”

Sport will also make its mark, with thousands of walkers and runners in luminous suits bringing Arthur’s Seat, the hill that overlooks the centre of Edinburgh, to life each night for a Speed Of Light art installation.

In the days following the Olympics, the first International Culture Summit will take place at the Scottish parliament, in partnership with the Scottish and UK governments and the British Council. Organisers said it would provide a platform for culture ministers from around the world to hold discussions on the role of culture in international dialogue.

Seven events, including a Polish director’s version of Macbeth set in the Middle East, will form the festival’s contribution to the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad that accompanies the games.

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