End of Edinburgh International Festival Fireworks Concert (with photos)

Another year and another Edinburgh Festival season comes to an end, signified by the Bank of Scotland’s firework display from Edinburgh castle. This display, accompanied by classical music from the orchestra in Princes St Gardens, signifies the end of the Bank Of Scotland International Festival.

Edinburgh Festival fireworks 2007 5

I arrived just before 8.30pm, with the fireworks starting at 9 and ending approximately 50 minutes after. The good spots on Princes St, giving a full view of the castle, were all taken. So I had to settle for a less crowded position, which unfortunately had some trees in the way - the Castle view seems to get more obscured each year; although I’m sure sure it’s just my perception. According to reports 250,000 people across the City of Edinburgh watched the fireworks (this figure includes the large crowd which gathers at Inverleith Park to watch the fireworks). I thought the behaviour/spirits of the crowd were excellent. Two youths (whom you could call neds) stood in front of my camera, until one of them spotted it and gestured for the others not to block the lens. And just down from my position another young person had his mobile phone playing dance music, but happily switched it off when someone asked him. I don’t think he was enjoying the classical music selection too much!

The tickets to enter Princes St Gardens were sold out in advance of the fireworks concert, with each ticket costing £10. The queue to enter the gardens was enormous and, although not sure, I would expect some people missed the start of the concert due to the queues enormous length. Cross the organisers palms with £25 and you are reserved a seat in the Ross Theatre, giving an excellent view of the orchestra and fireworks.

Edinburgh Festival fireworks 2007 9 Edinburgh Festival fireworks 2007 11

The all American programme began with Bernstein’s Overture from Candide. In the middle there was a quiet, reflective moment for Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The music is audible on Princes St, but lacks the same impact you experience if in the gardens. During Adagio for Strings many of the crowd were lost as they struggled to hear the music; the firework effects were subtle to say the least. At this stage a small, yet sizable number of the crowd began to head away - I can’t remember seeing so many people leave the street before the end of the fireworks concert in previous years.

The fireworks were still spectacular but I wasn’t captivated like I had been in previous years. I thought last years recital of extracts from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet was much, much better than this years effort. Last year’s music seemed to suit a fireworks show much better. I found this years All American show a little stop/start and slightly disjointed by comparison.

Overall it’s still the best way to celebrate the end of the Edinburgh Festival season, but it could have been better. B- seems fair.

More photos from the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks Concert are available.

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