Audiences from around the world will attend the Edinburgh International Festival as it gets under way this weekend, with organisers predicting it could break previous ticket sales records.
The three-week festival opens today with the first of more than 50 concerts starring some of the world's finest musicians.
Loading article content
More than 13,000 tickets for the opening weekend have been sold for events, including some world premieres being held at venues across the city.
The festival runs until August 31 when it concludes with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, with 400,000 fireworks fired from Edinburgh Castle to music performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Festival director Jonathan Mills said: "It is with great delight that we open Festival 2014.
"Ticket sales are in great shape and we are busy finding even more seats in our biggest theatres to cope with demand for performances of The James Plays and Inala, and concerts including Paul Lewis at the Usher Hall. There's been a terrific response to the programme.
"We have prepared for months to welcome the 2,400 artists coming from all corners of the globe to Edinburgh and it is terrific to see it all coming together, and to see first glimpses of world premieres which will thrill audiences from Edinburgh, Scotland and the world.
"It's going to be a thrilling month of the very finest in the performing arts bringing us innovative, epic, intimate, moving and spine-tingling performances.
"I, for one, cannot wait to welcome our audiences and our artists to the greatest festival city in the world."