Edinburgh International Festival

Both the International and Fringe festivals flourish, annually outstripping the previous year's attainments.

The box office this year took a record £4.3 million from audiences from 83 nations.

Attendance has been estimated at 450,000 with the young benefiting from two thousand free tickets for school children and over nine thousand discounted tickets for young people and students.

Opera was central to the programme which included Verdi’s Macbeth and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang which featured in the first Festival, Wagner’s Die Walküre with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Puccini's La Bohème from the Festival’s resident company, Teatro Regio Torino.

More than two thousand artists represented 40 nations.

To widen its audience base the Festival presented a range of music events including from performers Jarvis Cocker, P J Harvey, Stephin Merritt, Anoushka Shankar and Karen Polwart. Dance events include Boy Blue Entertainment 's Blak Whyte Gray at the Lyceum and Project R.E.B.E.L at Castlebrae Community High School.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Festival, Scotland's First Minister unveiled a plaque to the first festival director Rudolph Bing and conductor Bruno Walter. Both Jewish refugees, the cultural cooperation and tolerance they demonstrated was behind the British Council co-curated Spirit of ‘47 programme of international collaboration, performance and discussion.

The 2018 International Festival will run from 3 to 27 August.