Edinburgh Festivals Past 1954 – 1969

edinburgh festival nat lib scotland

National Library of Scotland Kelvin Hall

Until 20 August, 2020

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Choose which decade you want to visit by selecting a film from the list below:
This film covers Edinburgh’s International Festival in 1955, making it the earliest of our selections.
From operatic performances, to the cities gardens, film theatres, art and drama – it’s all captured here as, “Edinburgh invites the world’s visitors to surrender to the delights of her festival. All that is finest in music, drama and painting. The glories of an historic city, the warmth of a Scottish welcome.”
This award-winning documentary captures the festival of 1964. Opening with scenes of the city on ‘a night in August’ we are first treated to an overture by the Scottish National Orchestra, at the Usher Hall.
Also featuring footage of various exhibitions and shows which took place that year, along with shots of various stars who attended, including a brief appearance from Marlene Dietrich! The famous actress and singer speaking in the films describes her affection for the festival city.
By the 1970s the popularity and expanse of the festival had continued to flourish – with more and more street performance and pop-up events taking place across the city.
This footage from 1970 captures the vibe and atmosphere of the capital’s busy streets and the Prince street parade, not to mention some fabulous 70s fashion!

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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