The Macallan and Edinburgh Festival unite to create new ‘stunning’ opening event


The Macallan has been announced as the new Principal Partner of the Edinburgh International Festival.

The creative partnership between these two well-known Scottish brands, based on a shared creative vision, global reach, and shared heritage, all firmly rooted in Scotland, kicks off in August as they collaborate to create a new ritual involving over 10,000 people for the 2024 opening event which is promising to be a “visually stunning” opening to the festival season in Edinburgh.

Led by creative producer Katy Fuller at Pinwheel, whose track record includes projection festival “North of the Tyne, Under the Stars” which celebrated the landscape and legends of the region, “Land of Green Ginger” for Hull UK City of Culture which transformed all corners of the city through a series of Acts of Wanton Wonder, it will be first for the International Festival and the city of Edinburgh.

The event, inspired by this year’s theme of “Rituals That Unite Us”, plans to evoke the mythology, history and cultural heritage of Scotland, showcasing “a range of artforms and performers, inviting audiences to step into a transcendent world that explores our past, present and future, inspired by Edinburgh’s iconic landscape as a city built on layers”.

Jaume Ferràs, Global Creative Director, The Macallan, says, “2024 marks The Macallan’s 200th anniversary through a celebration of time. As part of this milestone, we are delighted to be working with the Edinburgh International Festival and draw upon our combined heritage, creativity and artistic power.

“Edinburgh International Festival is renowned as the world’s leading arts festival bringing a rich tapestry of Scottish stories to the global stage.

“We look forward to combining our creative talents and connecting local and global audiences with the highest quality of Scottish storytelling through this exciting new opening event for Edinburgh International Festival.”

Nicola Benedetti, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival, says, “This year’s Edinburgh International Festival will be a momentous celebration of the collective experiences that bind us closer together. We share The Macallan’s commitment to artistic innovation and collaboration, and to true mastery.

“This flourishing partnership will enable audiences to experience Festival traditions in new and extraordinary ways; our unmissable opening event will allow us to see ourselves and our history on the grandest of stages, and inspire us to think differently.”

The full Edinburgh International Festival programme will be announced on 7 March 2024. Tickets will be on sale on 21 March 2024.

Picture credit: Laurence Winram