Edinburgh Festivals cancelled for 2020

Edinburgh’s famous International Festival and Festival Fringe, as well as the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh  Art Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which normally take place in August, have now been cancelled for the first time in over 70 years due to concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic.

Together, the five festivals hold over 5,000 events across Scotland’s capital each summer, welcoming audiences of 4.4 million and over 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, making them the second biggest cultural event in the world after the Olympics. The open-access Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world.

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.

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.’