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Fireworks launch certain to go off with a bang
Published on Saturday, 12 April 2008

Courtesy Stuart Buchanan
With the launch of the International Festival's programme, we've got the answer to one of the hottest questions of the Festival year.  We now know how to get tickets for the iconic end-of-Festival fireworks display, which sees four tons of pyrotechnics go up in smoke to the live accompaniment of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The answer is - like last year - that there are three releases of the sought-after tickets, phased over the three months leading up to the show.  The earlier you get organized, the easier it is to get the precious passes.  We've found out, too, that 2008's display will be launched to the strains of Dvorak and Brahms, whose Slavonic and Hungarian dances are a perfect match for this year's Festival's Eastern European theme. 

Are the fireworks for you?

That's a simple question to answer - yes, provided you're in Edinburgh on Sunday 31 August.  Trust us, you wouldn't want to miss this literally earth-shaking event.

But whether you need tickets is another question again.  As we explain in our article on the fireworks, the ticketed area's in Princes Street Gardens, in the centre of Edinburgh and below the fireworks' launch-pad at the Castle.  All the same, you can get a wonderful view of the display from many places around the city, without planning ahead and without spending any money at all.  Gardens tickets are priced at a modest £10 - but only you can decide whether it's worth the money for a ringside seat.

Ticket buying options

If you're good to go, you've three chances to get your hands on Princes Street Gardens tickets.

This year's postal ballot closes on Monday 19 May.  If you're organized enough, the ballot's the best and easiest way to get the tickets - with anecdotal evidence suggesting almost all applicants get the number they asked for.  There's a limit of six tickets a person.  You can send in your application at any time, but we'll post a Ticket Alert to remind you at the start of May.

If you miss the postal ballot or need a top-up for last-minute visitors, the online sale takes place on Monday 21 July.  Although this will sell out quickly, based on last year's experience, if you're at your PC at the right moment you'll probably be in luck.  In this phase, there's a limit of four tickets a person and, again, we'll put out a Ticket Alert nearer the time.

Finally, you could always join the queue for the counter sale, which happens just a week before the show itself on Sunday 24 August.  But be warned, this is no easy undertaking - while you don't quite need to camp out overnight, you will have to be in place by the early morning.

Ticket Alerts from FringeGuru

The fireworks are the Festival's most popular event, and you'll need to be on the ball to get tickets.  But we can help boost your chances.  If you'd like an email reminder before the critical dates. sign up for our low-volume mailing list, FringeGuru's Ticket Alert.

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