Collection of material relating to Edinburgh International Festival, arts festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

Administrative / Biographical History

The Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1946  by Rudolf Bing (1902-1997), administrator of the Glyndebourne Opera House, and H Harvey Wood of the British Council as a substitute for the Salzburg Festival. Music festivals common in continental Europe would be difficult to hold in the aftermath of the Second World War, but it was felt that one in the United Kingdom would be practicable. The first Festival was held in 1947 and comprised music, opera and theatre productions. The Glyndebourne Festival Society was closely associated with Edinburgh Festival productions for a number of years.

The Edinburgh Festival Society Ltd, incorporated in 1946 , is the Festival's overall organising body (Company no. SC 024766). The Edinburgh Festival Council undertook most of the administration. The city council in Edinburgh increasingly wanted a major role in the administration because of its financial subsidy for the Festival and because of the general importance of the Festival to the city. About one-third of the income of the Festival is supplied in the form of grants by the City Council and by the Scottish Arts Council, one-third is from ticket sales, and most of the remainder comes from sponsorship and donations.

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre Society was founded in 1947. It organises the theatre productions at the Edinburgh International Festival and is still in existence.

See E Miller, The Edinburgh International Festival 1947-1996 (Aldershot, 1996) ; G Bruce, Festival in the North (London, 1975) .

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Paper based sheaf binder containing item level descriptions available at the Scottish Theatre Archive, Glasgow University Special Collections Department

Item level descriptions are available via the online Scottish Theatre Archive catalogue at

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Jo Peattie, Scottish Archive Network Project

Conversion from MS Access database, formatting and controlled access terms added by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, November 2002

Related Material

GB 247 STA La-Lo Records of theFestival Fringe Society Ltd

Geographical Names