The Edinburgh festivals, official and fringe, have cancelled this August’s events.
Talks have been going on for several days with the cty authorities and the Scottish government.
The Sun reports that £10m of public funding has been pledged for next year’s grand return.
Official confirmation was announced at noon.
The cancellation affects all Edinburgh festivals, including the books festival where I was due to appear. Everyone is gutted. Nothing to be done. The book festival is contemplating possible online events.
The festivals, which began in 1947, are worth £300 million to the city. Many enterprises will face ruin.
The first statement reads: ‘ Edinburgh Art Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are not happening as planned in 2020.’
Fergus Linehan, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival, said
“We are hugely disappointed to announce this cancellation but given the current outlook we believe it is the correct decision. We recognise that Edinburgh’s festivals play a very important role in the cultural, social and economic lives of our city and country, and this decision has not been taken lightly. Our thoughts are with all the country’s key workers and we hope that we can celebrate your heroic efforts when this awful pandemic has passed.
“The Edinburgh International Festival was born out of adversity – an urgent need to reconnect and rebuild. The current crisis presents all at the Festival with a similar sense of urgency. Work begins straight away on a 2021 Festival season that will boost both our spirits and our economy.
“As we observe our essential social distancing we can, I hope, look forward to being back together soon: sharing brilliant music, theatre, dance, literature and art from the greatest creative minds of our time. Until then, thank you for all your good wishes and keep safe in the coming months.”