Edinburgh Festivals Underway
   2013-08-20 07:14:34    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Liu Yuanhui

Brigadier David Allfrey (center left), Chief Executive and Producer of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

  

Tens of thousands of people are swarming into Edinburgh as the Scottish city becomes a big stage for the annual festival season.

CRI's correspondent Tu Yun sent this report from the Scottish capital.

Walking around in big cities, you may see buskers performing here and there.

But in Edinburgh, you can see them all within less than half a mile on one street.

It's the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world.

It features over 45,000 performances in nearly 2,900 shows across the city this year, of which around 16 percent are free.

This year's Fringe has reported sales increases in double figures compared to last year when the annual event was affected by the Olympics.

Also a favourite is the Military Tattoo, where you can join thousands in front of the Great Castle of Edinburgh watching massed pipes and drums.

All tickets for the 2013 Tattoo were sold out more than a week ago.

"We have tonight in the audience 8,800 people, a total of 220,000 across the whole of the summer. This year we have seven great bands of pipes and drums."

Brigadier David Allfrey is Chief Executive and Producer of this year's program.

"We have the Republic of Korea, celebrating spring time with some wonderful music. From Mexico we'll bring the sound and sights of summer. From New Zealand, the other side of the world, we have autumn. And finally winter from Mongolia. We'll touch also night and day, and life and death, the important elements of life. And we'll end by looking to the heavens, to the stars and the sun and the planets for our inspiration."

Also looking for new inspiration and direction is Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival since October, 2006.

"Two years ago we had a huge celebration on arts from Asia and Europe. Three years ago, it was the notion of colonialism and the New World. Five years ago, it was much about the new members of the European Union, Poland, the Czech Republic. So each year it's a completely different journey. The more you come to visit my festival, the more you'll see these connections and passions. And the journey will become more clear."

The theme of this year's festival is the interaction between art and technology.

The program features Beethoven's only opera Fidelio staged in a spaceship.

Chinese director Lin Zhaohua is bringing his production of Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus, which will make its European premiere on Tuesday.

For CRI, I'm Tu Yun in Edinburgh.

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