News: Latest Statement From Edinburgh Fringe Society

Edinburgh Fringe Launches Festival Fundraising Campaign

Latest statement on coronavirus outbreak from Fringe Society Chief Executive Shona McCarthy below.

(editor's note, I'm not sure how this squares with continuing with social distancing for the rest of 2020 as has been suggested will happen in the news today).

"We still don’t know what the future holds. There’s science and modelling and graphs coming at us from every corner and they all tell us something different. So we will keep focused, carry on with a view that there will be a Fringe in August. We don’t know what form that Fringe will take, what it will look like, but we are re-grouping every day, listening to all our stakeholders and will review our public messaging on Wednesdays and issue updates for participants every Friday. A Fringe will happen, a programme will happen, but it just might not look as it has before.

Whilst we can’t provide definitive answers on everything at this stage, there are specific areas where we can make a difference. One question that we’ve been asked lots is whether we could move the publication of the Fringe programme. Following discussions with our printers, paper merchants, distributers and designers (who are also suffering with the uncertainty of the time), we’ve agreed to delay production by at least four weeks, to give artists more time to see how the situation develops and to make an informed decision about participating in the festival. 

We will keep an open mind about the printed programme, what it might look like and what other tools Fringe audiences can use to navigate the festival. There are no fixed positions in the current environment, but neither do we want to make rash or damaging decisions for participants, audiences, staff, or the community of businesses and partners who work hard to make this festival happen every year. 

Over this four-week period we will explore a variety of options to ensure we provide artists and audiences with the best possible tools for navigating the festival, whilst also being live to the rapidly changing situation all around us. We will continue to provide support and advice services through our registration team, and to promote listings online should participants choose to go on sale during that period.  

We don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to sharing updates as soon as we have them. Most importantly, we will continue to listen. Fringe participants are the cornerstone of the festival and we value your input and want to keep talking, so please feel free to come to us with any concerns, questions or contributions you have about how we go forwards during this unique time. Our team are here for you, so please do get in touch with us at [email protected].  

Thanks for your patience over what I know is an incredibly difficult and uncertain time. Best wishes over the coming days,

As a result the run-up has now been moved back, with the programme launch, for example, taking place around a month later than usual.

New timeline for programme registration and launch

  • 16 Apr – on sale four
  • 06 May – registration deadline
  • 13 May – advertising deadline
  • 14 May – on sale five
  • 21 May – deadline for changes to the programme
  • 10 Jun – on sale six
  • w/c 06 Jul – programme launch



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