News Story

A message from our Festival Director

On behalf of all at the Edinburgh International Festival, I hope that you, your family and your loved ones are keeping well during these difficult times. Our thoughts are with those who are dealing with the pandemic on the front line and those whose lives and businesses have been thrown into uncertainty by the sudden changes.

Over the past month as the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated, I have been working with the Festival team to consider how we might present a Festival in 2020. It has now become clear that, given the current outlook, it is not going to be possible to do so. We have, therefore, along with our board of trustees, taken the hugely disappointing decision to cancel the 2020 Edinburgh International Festival.

There are more important challenges to be faced over the coming months but I know that the Festival plays a central role in the cultural, social and economic lives of many in our city and country. I am very sorry that on this occasion, the show can’t go on. However, this just has made all of us at the Festival more determined than ever that when it is safe, we will be back.

Like many other enterprises, this cancellation causes the Festival significant financial challenges. We are working closely with our family of public funders, private donors and corporate partners to secure the Festival’s safe passage through this perilous period.

The Edinburgh International Festival was born out of adversity – an urgent need to both reconnect and rebuild. This current crisis presents us with a similar sense of urgency. Work begins straight away on a 2021 Festival that will boost both our spirits and our economy.

As we observe our essential social distancing we can, I hope, look forward to being back together soon: sharing beautiful musicianship, brilliant acting and exquisite dance from the greatest creative minds of our time. Until then, thank you for all your good wishes and keep safe in the coming months.

Fergus Linehan
Festival Director
Edinburgh International Festival

A BSL interpreted announcement from the August Festivals