Arts News!

Edinburgh Festivals Cancelled for 2020!

Edinburgh Festivals Cancelled for 2020! 

As the world continues the battle against COVID 19 and we here in Scotland continue in our Lockdown lives and making social distancing a reality. The theatre world remains closed down and annual summer events continue to fall one by one into cancellation or rescheduling for later in the year.

For the last few weeks, the combined Edinburgh Festival organizations have painstakingly been meeting with officials, stake holders, performers and the city itself to find the right answer to the question, do we continue with this year’s planned festival events? The answer is sadly No.

For the first time in 70 years The Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Art Festival, The Edinburgh Book Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival are cancelled for 2020.

It’s a heartbreaking time for the industry and for the city and the repercussions of this decision will be felt well beyond August. However, this is the right decision and we at ScotsGay arts commend those who had the difficult job of making this decision.

Yes August may be four months away but with those most vulnerable being shielded for 12 weeks our city and country will still be coming back to some sense of normality, there is simply no way the infrastructure and planning which takes months for every venue to go through could be achieved in the time frame that’s left.

In the bigger picture it will be a time for reflection and a chance to breath and welcoming the world to Edinburgh would at best be insensitive and at worst utter madness. A fallow year may be just what the Combined Festivals need to refocus and rediscover the true spirt that saw the birth of the festivals in the first place.

Speaking of the true spirit of the festivals, who knows where we will be in four months, if restrictions are eased and theatres do reopen, perhaps it will be a chance for local companies to take centre stage and entertain the great city that Edinburgh is, and the world can be reassured, Edinburgh and Scotland will be ready to welcome the world back in 2021.

For now, people matter, and the message remains clear, Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

Official Statements can be found at the following links:

https://www.edfringe.com/covid-19

https://www.eif.co.uk/festival-guide/news-and-blogs/a-message-from-our-festival-director

https://edinburghartfestival.com/news/item/edinburgh-art-festival-2020-cancelled

https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/about-us/news/festival-2020-announcement

https://www.edintattoo.co.uk/news/the-tattoo-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic

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