Edinburgh Festival fireworks to end after 40 years amid loss of sponsor

The Edinburgh Castle event, which began in 1982, attracts more than 250,000 spectators each year.

Edinburgh International Festival fireworks to end after 40 years following sponsor loss iStock

A traditional annual fireworks ceremony marking the close of the Edinburgh International Festival is set to end after 40 years, organisers have confirmed.

The long-running Edinburgh Castle event, which began in 1982, usually attracts more than 250,000 spectators.

Organisers said the world famous display would not run this summer after it lost a major sponsor.

The 45-minute show has been cancelled for the last three years running, due to the pandemic.

Previously, people have bought tickets to watch the fireworks alongside a live performance from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from Princes Street Gardens, which sits under Edinburgh Castle.

A spokesperson for the festival said they were looking into staging a large-scale event to replace future displays.

“The International Festival won’t be staging the fireworks this year,” they said.

“The fireworks have always been dependent on a major sponsor, and we do not have one to support the event this year.

“We will be speaking with the other August festivals and the City of Edinburgh Council to see what form a large-scale closing event might take in the future, that would replace the fireworks.”

The 2023 festival marks the first year under the management of Nicola Benedetti, who becomes the first female director of the event.

Almost 300 events will take place between August 4 and 27 across Edinburgh, spanning music, theatre, dance and comedy.