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A platform for the flowering of the human spirit

Way back in 1947, Sir John Falconer – Lord Provost of Edinburgh and the International Festival’s first Chair – spoke of his ambition that the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival should ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’.

70 years later, Edinburgh has bloomed magnificently as the world’s Festival City, transformed beyond recognition by the International Festival – and its impact has pollinated cities across the globe, propagating new festivals throughout Europe, America and Asia. It has celebrated our highest artistic achievements, our imagination and creativity, our generosity and diversity.

Bringing together light and sound installations, large-scale illuminations and 3D-mapped projections onto Edinburgh’s iconic buildings, Bloom is an epic, outdoor, public art event that celebrates the joyful transformation of the city over the past 70 years, from the darkness and division of the post-war years to today’s explosions of colour and spectacle.

And to mark the International Festival’s very special anniversary, Bloom transforms not a single building, but instead uses the facades around St Andrew Square to create a vast canvas for projection-mapped animations. The Square becomes an immersive environment of colour, texture, sounds and sensations that places the audience at the centre of a visually stunning digital constellation.

The Opening Event will take place on two nights for the first time, on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August, giving audiences the opportunity to enjoy this experience throughout the opening weekend of the International Festival. The event runs from 10pm to midnight on a 20 minute loop, allowing audience members to explore it at their own pace.

59 Productions’ stunning vision of ‘the flowering of the human spirit’ opened this year’s EIF
Bloom is about what the inspiration of the Festival has brought to the city as a destination for the world
Bloom transforms St Andrew Square into an immersive environment of colour, sound and texture to kick off the international festival

59 Team

Project Director
Leo Warner

Lead Designer
Akhila Krishnan

Rebecca Collis

Nick Powell

Sound Designer
Gareth Fry

Lighting Designer
Matt Daw

Animation & Design
Lawrence Watson
Edd Stockton
Nicol Scott
Aaron Brady
Emily Howells
Simon Russell
Raphael Pimlott
Georgia Clegg
Joanna Pilarczyk

Assistant Designer
Dale Croft
Matthew Taylor

Graphic Design
Bex Pitt

Production Manager
James Roxburgh

Programmer & System Design
Maximilien Spielbichler

Technical Assistant
Iain Syme

Rowan Pitts
Sam Jeffs

Chris Dunkin