News: Statement from Edinburgh Fringe Re: Coronavirus

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Opens Fringe Artist and Venue Recovery Fund

The Edinburgh Fringe has issued the following regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

Shona McCarthy, Fringe Society Chief Executive, said: “The Fringe Society continue with optimism to work towards the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2020. We are living through strange and unprecedented times and trying to find our way, keep people safe and do the right thing with the resources we have on a daily basis. Amidst it all, it gives heart and hope to see companies and artists and venues continue to register their shows and plan for another joyous creative gathering in August. I completely understand and feel the uncertainties of the current situation for artists and audiences alike. We want to give reassurance to participants that the Fringe Society will do everything in its power to support those that help make the Fringe happen each year.

“We are monitoring the coronavirus outbreak closely, taking guidance from both the UK and Scottish Governments. Our current position is to plan for the Fringe in August as normal, but with an eye to an ever-changing environment. The health and safety of Fringe participants, audiences and staff is – and always will be – our top priority and we will update participants and stakeholders of any changes.

“So much is still unknown, but with the Fringe still five months away, we remain optimistic that the festival will continue as usual in August. Over the next few weeks, we will be continuing our planning and day-to-day operations in line with the latest advice and recommendations. This includes limiting travel and digitising events where possible.

“Were the situation to dramatically change and the Fringe in its entirety had to be cancelled (through a government directive on public events or gatherings in August), the Fringe Society will work with our insurers, government stakeholders and – most importantly – our participants to limit the financial impact across the whole Fringe as much as we possibly can. We would also offer participants who have already paid the opportunity to roll their show registration forward to the 2021 Fringe to cover an equivalent show listing.

“We are aware that the current situation is difficult for everyone involved and we want to encourage participants to keep talking to us. If ever there was a time for working together with empathy, humanity and mutual understanding, this is it. So let’s keep talking and doing our best to weather this together. If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected].”

Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has also been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.


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