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Article published 31/08/2022

The 2022 Edinburgh International Festival has drawn to a close following 92 different productions featuring over 2,400 artists from around 45 different nationalities, returning to full theatres and concert halls with critical acclaim for the first time since 2019.

The 2022 International Festival marks Fergus Linehan’s last as Festival Director following an eight-year tenure, before Nicola Benedetti takes up the role in October 2022.

As the curtain falls on the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival and on my tenure as Director, I am awestruck by the resilience, generosity and talent of the thousands of artists who have lit up our city over the past month.

I leave the Festival in the knowledge that it is in the best of hands and wish Nicola Benedetti every success for her future tenure.

Fergus Linehan, Festival Director at Edinburgh International Festival

Over 150,000 tickets were issued during the three-week festival, marking just a 7% decrease compared to 2019. The appetite for the return of the International Festival was further demonstrated by the popularity of free, easily accessible events, given in celebration of the Festival’s 75th anniversary, which were fully booked within hours of going live.


EIF media call event

The Edinburgh International Festival media call


Over 34,000 free tickets have been booked so far, mostly for the four flagship free events: the spectacular opening event MACRO supported by EventScotland at BT Murrayfield, the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra’s only Scottish concert, Thank You, Edinburgh from the Philadelphia Orchestra and Dreamachine, which continues into September as part of UNBOXED 2022. 63% of the audiences for these special events have come from the city of Edinburgh.

An additional 27,000 tickets were discounted as concessions, given to community groups or allocated to young people as part of the Young Music Pass scheme. Local audiences in particular embraced the return of the International Festival to full strength, with 70% of the total audience coming from Scotland and 20% from the rest of the UK.

Watch the Festival round-up film

This year, the experience of the Edinburgh Festivals has been particularly special, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival, and the return of the full programme of festivals after three long years. Arts and culture is not just important to our economy and people’s livelihoods, but celebrating the power of arts and culture makes us a healthier and happier country.

The Edinburgh International Festival does what can only be described as closing the gap between the festival and the city of Edinburgh, in addition to many other parts of Scotland. It brings in groups that haven’t been able to experience the festival as others might have, and it works to nurture the creative talent of the next generation, which is incredibly important.

Rt Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland

The 2023 International Festival will take place 4 – 27 August. You can find out more information at the Edinburgh Festival website. 

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