Even in isolation, the Edinburgh International Festival remains a place for people to come together in celebration of the arts.
Our recent decision to call off the 2020 Edinburgh International Festival is one we know will have been felt by many. Although not as severe as the losses of those directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, it comes at a time when the broader arts sector faces logistical, economic and creative challenges, leaving audiences and artists without the means to come together as they usually would.
The next Festival we host will likely be one of the most important because it will come at a time when we dearly need to gather and refresh our spirits. Whilst looking forward to that time, it is important to celebrate those who are continuing to create inspiring art in this difficult moment. Many are finding ways to provide for and uplift those around them – whether it’s by creating entertaining resources, supporting other artists or performing at their own personal cost to keep us in touch with culture.
Over the coming weeks, we will continue to celebrate the world-class artists connected with the International Festival and share their pioneering work with our audiences across the world. Among other things the Edinburgh International Festival exists to be a platform: not to take responsibility for great art but to bring it together in international celebration.
Artists including the Vienna State Opera and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra are already live streaming regular concerts for you to enjoy. Honeyblood, who performed at the 2018 International Festival, has been streaming nightly concerts to stay connected to her fans, all of which can still be viewed on her Facebook page. Theatre companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Schaubühne are streaming performances and Scottish Ballet are hosting virtual classes. We will continue to curate and share outstanding projects like these from the artists and organisations who make up our community, plus creative ways to break through isolation and some work we’ve created over the years.
The artists and creators behind these projects have shown incredible spirit in finding resourceful ways to bring the positive elements of human culture into people’s homes during a difficult time. We hope you will join us in celebrating and supporting their generosity where you can.