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In sync: new director moves dates of Edinburgh Festival

The new director of the Edinburgh International Festival has announced that he is changing the dates of the world famous event.

Juliette Binoche

Fergus Linehan, outlining his vision for his first festival in 2015, said it will run from August 7 to 31.

This means the EIF is moving forward a week and is running at the same time as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time since 1996.

It will also coincide with the Tattoo, the International Book Festival and the Art Festival.

Linehan, who takes over from Sir Jonathan Mills later this year, also said his festivals would feature more modern music, some smaller venues, and revealed the details of three shows for 2015.

There will be a major production of Antigone, in co operation with the Barbican in London, and starring the French film actress Juliette Binoche.

There will be a major production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro directed by Ivan Fischer of the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Finally, Linehan revealed that there will be a public celebration of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, which celebrates 50 years next year.

He said there will also be a major opening event, possibly outdoors, and free events.

The change of dates has come after consultation with the Fringe and the city's Chamber of Commerce.

Linehan believes losing the week when the EIF is the only festival running in the capital, after the Fringe closes, will not drastically affect ticket sales.

Linehan said: "After a period of reflection and consultation with a wide range of people involved in the city, it has been decided to move the EIF dates forward one week from 2015.

"The unique combination and coincidence of Edinburgh's summer festivals at full strength contributes to our worldwide success. It is this buzz as breadth of choice that offers the best possible experience for audience and artists alike."

He said it had not yet been decided when the final traditional fireworks concert would take place: the final Sunday or Monday of the EIF next year.

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