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Inside Track:

Let us look into the future of the Edinburgh International Festival a little bit.

Of course, the EIF finished last weekend amid real fireworks, and embers of the fireworks that surrounded the comments made by its artistic director, Sir Jonathan Mills, when he said that next year's Festival, which is already programmed, will not directly address the referendum vote.

It will address issues of nationhood and nationalism, however. But more on that will be revealed in the coming months. No, let's move to 2015, which will be the first International Festival curated by the new director, Irishman Fergus Linehan. He was spotted at many shows at this year's Festival, and indeed, I hear, has begun programming 2015 already. His official title at the moment is director designate.

What will it look like? Well, I think we will see a little more theatre in English, for starters. Linehan began his theatre career in Dublin, and directed the Dublin Theatre Festival, commissioning work by writers such as the late Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel and Roddy Doyle. He knows that Scotland is rich in playwrights and may want to tap into that talent for his first festival. And, although it is doubtful we will see revivals of Noel Coward, one wonders if some acknowledged classics, beyond Shakespeare and Beckett, will be considered.

I could also imagine some interesting developments on the stage under his tenure. In music, one can also see changes ahead. This year's Festival touched on modern music with Philip Glass, but other modern music: rock and pop music, is bound to feature in Linehan's programmes. He programmed electronic music, pop, rock and jazz at the Sydney Opera House. Linehan is a fan of modern Scottish bands.

It will be difficult, perhaps, to programme talents such as Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, The Blue Nile, Bill Wells or even (and this correspondent would be very excited about this particular possibility) Boards of Canada without it being just another "gig", but if there is a way of getting such talents on the EIF stage, it would address an artistic and historical aspect of Scotland's life yet to be tackled by the venerable Festival.

Yes, it is an international festival, but all of those bands have had considerable success overseas, and have influence from, and influences on, other artists beyond these shores.

And, as we have seen in the Manchester International Festival, which wisely programmed the epic collaboration between Douglas Gordon and Mogwai (a big miss by the EIF, I have thought), Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, many interesting match-ups and mix-ups can be found in contemporary music and art. For more examples of such confluences, you can peruse the Glasgow Weekend programme in Berlin this month, profiled in The Herald yesterday.

Finally, one wonders if Mr Linehan will take a look at the venues the EIF uses. The Festival is traditionally enjoyed in the Festival Theatre, the Usher Hall, the Playhouse, the King's and the Queens Hall. Excellent venues all. But the Fringe every year shows us how new sites and spaces can both invigorate - and provoke.

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