There will be no festivals this summer in Edinburgh following the announcement that The Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival have been cancelled alongside the Military Tattoo, Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Arts Festival.
The festival was due to run from 7th – 31st August with around 4.5m people expected in the capital over the period. It’s the first time in 70 years that the world’s biggest arts festival will not take place.
Fergus Linehan, Festival Director Edinburgh International Festival said in a statement, “I have been working with the Festival team to consider how we might present a Festival in 2020. It has now become clear that, given the current outlook, it is not going to be possible to do so. We have, therefore, along with our board of trustees, taken the hugely disappointing decision to cancel the 2020 Edinburgh International Festival.
There are more important challenges to be faced over the coming months but I know that the Festival plays a central role in the cultural, social and economic lives of many in our city and country. I am very sorry that on this occasion, the show can’t go on. However, this just has made all of us at the Festival more determined than ever that when it is safe, we will be back.
He added, “The Edinburgh International Festival was born out of adversity – an urgent need to both reconnect and rebuild. This current crisis presents us with a similar sense of urgency. Work begins straight away on a 2021 Festival that will boost both our spirits and our economy.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance comments, “It is the right decision to take for many reasons that are well documented but most importantly protecting the health and well-being of our nation. From recent conversations I have had with stakeholders who are involved in delivering Edinburgh’s festivals, I know that there remains huge ambition, resilience, determination and a will to deliver these world famous events which bring people from across the world and the UK to experience our warm welcome, culture, comedy and spectaclel when the time is right.”