Biggest arts event cancelled

Edinburgh Festival off, organisers hope to ‘rekindle spark’

Clown at Edinburgh Festival

No smiles this summer (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh’s summer festivals – the Fringe, International, Art, Book Festival and Military Tattoo – will not take place in August, it has been announced.

Shona McCarthy, the chief executive of the Fringe Society, said the decision to pull the plug on the world’s biggest arts festival had not been taken lightly.

She there would be a way of “uniting people” under a fringe umbrella, but said it was too early to say what this might look like.

A joint statement to visiting companies and performers from the fringe’s biggest venues, the Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Underbelly and Pleasance, said: “Whilst we are suspending our activity for the foreseeable future, if there is any chance that we might rekindle the spark of a festival fringe at our venues in August 2020 and rebuild an event for this summer, we will certainly try.”

A statement from the Edinburgh Fringe office to thousands of performers who were expected at the annual event, said: “The idea of Edinburgh without a Fringe in August is not something any of us want to entertain and our thoughts go out to all of you that were planning on bringing shows this summer.

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