Full ticketing details for 2016's Standard Life opening event Deep Time are announced

Standard Life is today announced as title sponsor of the flagship Opening Event of the Edinburgh International Festival, in a partnership which will continue for three years until 2018. This year’s Opening Event, by Tony-award winning 59 Productions - creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project which opened the 2015 International Festival - has been named the Standard Life Opening Event:Deep Time.

This announcement marks the foundation of a new partnership between Standard Life and the Edinburgh International Festival over the next three years. With a mutual commitment to excellence, ambition, creativity and innovation, this partnership allows both organisations to celebrate their shared home of Edinburgh on an international stage.

Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time is a free, outdoor artwork which will see the western façade of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock used as the canvas for digitally animated projections inspired by the city’s past, set to a specially compiled soundtrack by Scottish rock band Mogwai. Celebrating the start of Edinburgh’s summer festival season, the event takes place on Sunday 7 August, at 10.30pm and can be viewed from a specially created arena on Castle Terrace. Free tickets for the event arena are available from the International Festival from Monday 11 July. A second limited release of free tickets will be made available on Monday 1 August, with a very limited release of final tickets the day before the event on Saturday 6 August.

Deep Time charts 350 million years of Edinburgh history, uncovering the unique geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity, exploring the intellectual legacy of the city – in particular the work of renowned Edinburgh scientist and thinker James Hutton – and celebrating the people who live and work in the city.  59 Productions will use cutting-edge 3d animation and projection techniques to create the event, working in partnership with academics from across the University of Edinburgh. Experts from science, arts and humanities will lend their expertise to help tell the story of the earth and the ideas behind Hutton’s theory of Deep Time.

The partnership will support the International Festival in advancing its ambitions for future Opening Events, which will continue to deliver new and innovative work showcasing pioneering productions made in Scotland. Standard Life chooses sponsorships and partners who reflect its commitment to excellence and to helping people achieve their ambitions. By supporting the International Festival through this new sponsorship the company continues to build its investment in its home city and its people, and to advance its global brand.

Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life, said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh International Festival in our sponsorship of this exciting and very unique Opening Event. We are a global business which is very proud of our Scottish roots and the pioneering ideas which have been developed here. This exciting highly visual and visceral event is another great example of innovative and creative work which will be enjoyed by the live audience and millions of others through the power of social media and online.’

At the event launch Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome on board such a dynamic sponsor for our Opening Event. Standard Life is one of the world’s most forward-thinking financial organisations, whose continued engagement in the cultural life of Edinburgh and Scotland is instrumental in supporting work created here on a global stage, and makes them a natural partner for the International Festival. Standard Life has shown itself to be innovative and creative in its sponsorship of major events, and we look forward to working together to offer the people of Edinburgh and beyond a spectacular start to the summer festival season.’

Paul Bush OBE, Visit Scotland’s Director of Events, said: ‘Following the huge success of The Harmonium Project in 2015, we are delighted that the Edinburgh International Festival has secured Standard Life as title sponsor for this year’s opening event, Deep Time. Supported through initial investment from EventScotland’s International Programme and other partner agencies, the International Festival has been able to develop these fantastic events, which now have secured a partner of global standing. Encompassing Edinburgh’s earliest origins right up to the present day, Deep Time will touch upon many of the key themes of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and bring together the skills and expertise which demonstrate why Scotland is the perfect stage for events’. 

Leo Warner, Creative Director of 59 Productions and director of Deep Time said: ‘We are delighted to be returning to Edinburgh as newly-appointed Artistic Associates of the International Festival and are excited by the creative possibilities enabled by this new partnership with Standard Life. Deep Time gives us an opportunity to build on the success of The Harmonium Project and to create a spectacular event that is more deeply connected to the story of the city. Long-term partnerships like these allow us as artists to take bold creative decisions that advance our understanding of theatricality, spectacle and new technology, so we can continue to inspire and surprise our audiences’.

For more information including how to book visit: www.eif.co.uk

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