Edinburgh’s summer festivals, including the famous Fringe theatre and comedy festival, have been canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fringe, International Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival, Book Festival and Military Tattoo will not take place for the first time in more than 70 years, according to organizers in Scotland.
It follows the Edinburgh International Film Festival being axed last month. It is not clear yet what will become of the Edinburgh International TV Festival, which takes place in August.
“Just a few months ago, the idea of Edinburgh without the Fringe and our sister festivals would have been totally unthinkable; now, like so many other aspects of our day-to-day lives, we must pause and take stock in the face of something far bigger,” said Fringe CEO Shona McCarthy.
“We are working hard to mitigate the impact of this decision on Fringe artists and audience members. Today we are committing to refunding all participant registration fees, as well as refunding the Fringe tickets and Friends memberships purchased by our audience members. We are also offering participants who have already paid the alternative of rolling their show registration forward to the 2021 Fringe to cover an equivalent show listing.”
She concluded: “We look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh in 2021. In the meantime, look after each other and stay safe.”
The Fringe festival brings together some of the biggest names in comedy and arts every year and has famously been a launchpad for many careers. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s smash hit Fleabag started as a one-woman Edinburgh show, while Channel 4’s Taskmaster was also originally created for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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