Performance costume students from Edinburgh College of Art created outfits for the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival’s epic opening event, Five Telegrams. The sound and light spectacular featured huge projections beamed on to the front of the city’s Usher Hall and a choir of young people. Each wore a cape designed by the students.

More than 15,000 people gathered for the outdoor digital and live performance, which took place on 3 August. 

The process began with event creator Richard Slaney and composer Anna Meredith briefing the students and discussing the show’s concept. Inspired by the centenary of the end of the First World War, they developed designs that reflected the theme of communication in war.

The students undertook extensive research into how soldiers sent messages home to the front.

Five Telegrams at Usher Hall

"“It’s been a really interesting process and a real insight into how a huge event like the International Festival opening ceremony works.”"

Rebecca Waites, Performance Costume student

This is the fourth year that the University has been an official partner of the Edinburgh International Festival’s opening ceremony. 

The Edinburgh College of Art students were invited to co-design the costumes as part of the Year of Young People 2018.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event: Five Telegrams was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Arts Commissions, BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival.