Edinburgh International Festival tickets on sale from new venues across the city

Tickets to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival went on sale on Saturday 24th March from the Hub at Castlehill. From today, the public can also purchase them from five new venues across the city.

The Edinburgh Playhouse, Festival Theatre, The Queen’s Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Usher Hall have joined the list of venues where members of the public can go to buy tickets for this year’s Festival, which will take place from 9th August to 2nd September.

It hasn’t taken long for ticket buyers to make use of the new box office locations in order to purchase tickets. According to a spokesperson for the Usher Hall, 5 people have already visited this morning within one hour of doors opening.

With tickets currently being sold from a variety of venues across the city, potential Festival goers are advised to be quick and buy their tickets in advance, in order to avoid future disappointments.

For more details on how to buy the tickets, click here.

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£250 million to boost Edinburgh’s arts

by Liz Gorrie

Edinburgh needs £250 million to prevent its 73 arts and cultural venues from falling short of world-class standards, a report has found.

The £35 million already earmarked is for arts projects is not nearly enough, the Edinburgh Council report states.

The plan for £250 million refurbishment programme would see venues such as the Assembly Rooms and the Kings Theatre transformed. It would also contribute to the building of new venues such as a 10,000 seat concert arena at Ingliston. £100 million and £50 million options have also been suggested which would maintain current venues but not consider as many new projects.

Arts bodies such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are frustrated with the lack of funds. Chief Executive of the RSNO Simon Woods says “we are…disappointed that…we are again being forced to change plans for concerts which we believed to be absolutely firm commitments”.

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The 2008-09 Capital Budget sees 4% of Edinburgh’s spending being put aside for cultural and related services. So it must  be asked if more funds are available if the current council review finds money needs to be injected into cultural services.

The Usher Hall which is undergoing to £25 million refurbishment has already hit financial problems. Plans to re-open in April this year have been shelved due to increasing costs. It will now re-open in August in time for the Edinburgh International Festival. This however has not filled many groups such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) with confidence over Edinburgh’s ability to invest in the arts. The RSNO has had to completely cancel it’s concerts which were to be held at the Usher Hall.

Labour group culture spokesman Paul Godzik commented that “the city has been lacking a proper strategy for its cultural venues and I hope this [council report] can provide this”. In view of the current state of our banks some people are asking that  if the council do decide to increase arts funds where the money will come from.

An Edinburgh council-led review is currently investigating such suggestions and is to report back to councillors in April.

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