Edinburgh festivals cancelled due to coronavirus

Edinburgh Fringe and four other major cultural festivals in the city cancelled due to coronavirus

4/1/2020 3:14:00 PM

Edinburgh Fringe and four other major cultural festivals in the city cancelled due to coronavirus

The Edinburgh Fringe and four other major cultural festivals in the city will not take place this year.

Getty ImagesThe Edinburgh Fringe and four other major cultural festivals in the city have been cancelled this year due to concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic.Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the world's biggest arts festival, will not take place for the first time in more than 70 years.

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The Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival have also been cancelled.The five events attract audiences of about 4.4 million people each August.More than 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries take part in 5,000 events in the Scottish capital each year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the cancellation was"heartbreaking, but the right decision".Image copyrightGetty ImagesCulture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the festivals would be"missed greatly"."But in taking this difficult decision now, everyone involved in the festivals, from staff to spectators, will be able to fully focus on their health and wellbeing which is critical during this time of great uncertainty," she said.

"I am committed to looking into support for seasonal staff who will suffer some of the greatest impact."The Scottish government will work with the festivals and all partners to ensure they can build on their previous success and return to the stage in 2021."

What are the five Edinburgh festivals?Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1947, in the aftermath of World War Two, in an attempt to reconcile and reunite people and nations through art. Its programme features theatre, dance and music.The Fringe began that same year when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to perform on the fringes of the festival. Since then it has grown to become the world's biggest arts festival.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo dates back to 1950. It attracts 220,000 visitors each August, and television coverage is watched by millions around the world.Edinburgh International Book Festival has grown since its launch in 1983 and now brings writers from across the world to exchange ideas on major issues.

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

BBCWorld Is it worth reporting👎 Well that'll be a refund on trains and accommodation for me then.😥😥 This is such sad news! It was so incredible last year!! The fringe used to be performed by medical students in their spare time - who still wrote better material than the dozens of drama students who accost you on the Royal Mile

Sadly there is no other option. Superb delivering in edinburgh is a nightmare when its on 🙌🏻👏🏻 I feel sorry for all the Edinburgh property owners who will miss out on charging people 4x the going rent rate for the duration of the Fringe. Who will pay their nannies now? Saddened to see the EdinburghFringe edinburghfestival cancelled... it would be great if a virtual one was available! 😊

BBCWorld Already? How am I expected to make an honest income via my Airbnb network? This is utterly crass and takes food from my table. Rethink please. Frank BBCWorld Festivals are cancelled. No shit. BBCWorld lets make 2021 count then 👍 Imagine all the air bnb bookings 🤣🤣 And we booked our holiday apartment here for fringe 😀✌🏻

Madsworth_123 maybe next year BBCWorld This isn't news it's just obvious at this point no? Everyone please make your own mask and wear it .. stay at home for health workers At this point I'm just shocked things haven't already been cancelled. Good. Crufts, Cheltenham Races, Football matches and Greta Thunberg unneccasary protest in Bristol should have been cancelled as should Wimbledon, Ascot, Henley Regatta, and all gatherings. Life is more important than profit.

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