Virgin Money Fireworks Concert Closes Edinburgh International Festival
Tonight, the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert 2018 drew to a stunning close as the sky filled with huge white glitter and gold croisette fireworks bursting 225 metres above Edinburgh Castle to the closing bars of Holst's The Planets.
Around 250,000 spectators watched the event across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, with visitors to the Scottish capital joined residents to fill Princes Street Gardens, the surrounding streets and vantage points across the city, to enjoy the annual finale to the International Festival and the closing event of Edinburgh's summer festival season.
More than 400,000 fireworks were launched during the concert in a display designed by Keith Webb of Pyrovision, synchronised perfectly to music performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell. Before the Fireworks display, audiences enjoyed a selection of songs from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story in a celebration of the legendary American composer's centenary. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra were joined by opera stars Nicky Spence and Lucy Crowe who brought to life Bernstein's iconic musical.
The traditional 'Waterfall' captivated the audience as it descended over 130 feet down the Castle Rock, during the closing bars of Holst's Saturn, lasting for around 1 minute.
Organisers welcomed 250 guests from community groups and organisations across Edinburgh, who were attending the event for the very first time. Audience members included the Muirhouse Housing Association, The Welcoming Association, 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café, The Rock Trust and WHALE Arts. Transport to and from the event was also provided for free via local buses, through support from The Castansa Trust.
Earlier in the day, the fourth consecutive Virgin Money Schools Concert took place at the Ross Theatre in Princes St Gardens, which was enjoyed by over 2000 Primary 7 pupils from schools across Edinburgh, who enjoyed live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra who warmed up for its evening concert with a performance of The Planets. A specially made film accompanied the concert, which introduced pupils to facts about planetary activity, and even included a special video message from UK astronaut Tim Peake.
Tim Peake said: 'Hello Edinburgh - I hear you're at a special schools' concert celebrating space with a performance of The Planets. Although I've been to space, I've never visited any of the planets - maybe someday one of you will. I hope you have a great afternoon and enjoy the music'.