INto The Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival makes its first foray into interactive audience participation with IN, a new membership scheme

Feature by Phil Gatt | 27 Apr 2010

This year's Edinburgh Festival line up is one of the strongest in years. From Pina Bausch's company through to the gospel version of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, the performance programme genuinely reflects the energy and diversity of international theatre, while the inclusion of the legendary Kronos Quartet brings a contemporary cutting edge to the classical music series.

The Edinburgh Festival is a highlight of the performance year for two reasons. Apart from bringing tourists into the theatre, it regularly subjects them to genuinely experimental performance. The Wooster Group, who are becoming something of a bi-annual fixture, for example, are notorious for their radical and iconoclastic devised performances: in the 1990s, they re-imagined Henry Millar through the filter of LSD. Pina Bausch is a dance legend. Before her recent death, she redefined contemporary dance as visceral and immediate in ways that most UK comapanies can only dream, and Agua is the sharpest edge of the avant garde.

No contemporary festival would be radical unless it considered the audience – as Arika are trying to prove, the audience are part of the show. In association with The Skinny, the Festival is introducing a new organisation to bridge the gap between stage and punter.

The creation of IN – a membership scheme that offers free and reduced price tickets, as well as exclusive parties and backstage events – proves their committment to a more inclusive Festival. Membership includes:

  • Two tickets to the NTS Caledonia Preview.
  • Up to 50% off 11 selected Festival performance tickets.
  • Interval drinks, and post performance meet-ups throughout the Festival
  • An exclusive invitation to The Secret Skinny Party, featuring a live performance from The Shimmy's very own pet gonzo journalist, Mr Criticilious.
  • End of Festival drinks at Missoni hotel bar to announce autumn offers.

IN attempts to bring the live experience one step closer, to introduce the artists to their audiences.



To become part of the IN crowd, go to

Edinburgh International Festival

August – September 2010