Edinburgh Fringe and other festivals cancelled because of coronavirus

1 April 2020, 13:39

The Edinburgh Fringe and other festivals had been due to take place in August
The Edinburgh Fringe and other festivals had been due to take place in August. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Edinburgh’s major summer festivals have been called off because of the coronavirus crisis.

The five annual festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh festival will not take place for the first time in over 70 years.

The festivals are attended by some 4.4m people each year but a decision was announced today that the festivals are cancelled this summer because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Read more: The latest coronavirus developments LIVE

The five cancelled August festivals are the Edinburgh Art Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Director Sorcha Carey said: ““Our decision is taken in response to the ongoing risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to prioritise the safety of our audiences, artists, participants, staff and indeed all those working to combat coronavirus.

“While it has become impossible to deliver a festival this year, we remain fully committed to doing all we can to continue to support our visual arts community during what is going to be a hugely challenging time in the weeks and months to come.

“We hope that it will be possible for galleries, museums and production spaces across the city to reopen their doors in the coming months; and in the meantime, we will work creatively to find alternative ways to share the work of artists with audiences.“

The festivals will take place in 2021.