The organizers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe have given the green light to artists, promoters and venues to bring live events back to the city this year.
Wednesday April 14, 2021, 12:17 p.m.
Update Wednesday April 14, 2021, 9:10 p.m.
The Fringe Society has revealed that it will start taking reservations in a few weeks for the return of the world-famous event in August, with the aim of launching ticket sales “early in the summer.”
Acts and companies will be able to record shows until the end of the Fringe, which is expected to last three and a half weeks normally, from August 6 to 30.
It is hoped that clear guidance from the Scottish Government on possible social distancing measures and crowd capabilities will be available before the Fringe Society starts accepting bookings from 5 May.
Site operators have warned the government that the two-meter social sites will not be financially viable.
All acts and businesses that register with the Fringe Society will also be able to use a new digital platform, similar to BBC iPlayer, which will allow work to be showcased when new lockout restrictions are imposed.
A newsletter to potential attendees states: “We know this has been a long and difficult time for many in the arts and culture sector, so we wanted to share a few key pieces of marginal information which we hope will will give you a measure of confidence and security. you make plans.
“Many of these plans are still in development, so while we’re happy to share the headlines with you, we ask that you stay with us as we finalize the details.
The Royal Mile is usually packed with crowds during the Fringe.
“It’s important that we do it right rather than doing it quickly, keeping the safety of participants and the audience first in our minds. “
The announcement came the day after the Edinburgh International Festival announced it would be bringing live events back to temporary outdoor venues and Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “optimistic” about a return to normal for theaters and nightclubs “during the summer”.
The Edinburgh International Festival will take place in ephemeral outdoor venues this Augus …
The Scottish Government has since released long overdue guidance ahead of the official date for the resumption of live events on May 17.
Shona McCarthy, Executive Director of the Fringe Society. Photo: Greg Macvean
By the end of June, it is hoped that up to 400 socially distanced audiences will be allowed to attend indoor performances, while up to 2,000 will be outdoors.
Ms Sturgeon insisted the “zero level” restrictions fell short of the government’s ambitions over the summer.
However, she stopped before giving a tentative date for the lifting of social distancing restrictions. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s schedule, all legal limits on social distancing could be relaxed in England by June 21.
A spokeswoman for the Fringe Society said: ‘As Scotland navigates its road map out of lockdown, it is still unclear what the Fringe will look like in August.
“Any live performance recorded as part of the Fringe 2021 will have to comply with the Scottish Government’s public health guidelines.”
Shona McCarthy, Executive Director of the Fringe Society, said: “We are delighted to be able to open registration for 2021.
“Of course we are still in planning mode as we wait for further updates from the Scottish Government, but this seems like a hugely positive step in the right direction.”
Anthony Alderson, Artistic Director of The Pleasance, said: “While we remain optimistic about the possibility of bringing some form of program to Edinburgh this summer, it remains impossible to make firm plans until we have the exact boundaries. of social distancing, capacity restrictions and Covid-19 regulations and therefore our agenda must remain on hold until we have that clarity.
“While positivity is important and things seem to be moving in the right direction, we don’t want to give artists or audiences false hope. “
Gilded Balloon Founder Karen Koren said: “We know that social distancing at two meters will make it impossible to put on shows, so until we are allowed to have an audience one meter apart, we cannot. not confirm what is possible.
“We are in constant communication with producers and performing agents, updating them as much as possible.
“We are committed to bringing a live performance program to Edinburgh this summer and will continue to work with the artists and our colleagues at the venue to help educate the government and the Fringe Society of what will be possible with restrictions.”
Liz McAreavey, Managing Director of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “With the announcement that the Edinburgh International Festival will return in August with live performances at three specially constructed venues, this announcement is good news. news for Edinburgh.
“I know the Scottish Council and Government have worked very hard behind the scenes to make this happen and a lot of work has been put into safety and compliance by Festivals Edinburgh to ensure festivals can be enjoyed in a safe environment. True innovation and perseverance shines through.
“While festivals are at the heart of our cultural and social well-being, they are also essential to our economy. More than 6,000 jobs are supported by festivals, which are also the platform for our creative talents and national artists to launch careers.
“They also ensure that Edinburgh is the Culture Capital of the World for the month of August each year, attracting enormous international interest and attention.
“But we also have to recognize that 40% of tickets are sold to local people who consider festivals to be good for their city.”
Roddy Smith, Managing Director of the Essential Edinburgh City Center Business Group, said: “Our summer festivals are crucial to our city’s economy and while they will obviously be drastically reduced, this is an indication. welcome that our city is reopening and ready to become return residents and visitors securely by Covid. “
Russell Imrie, spokesperson for the Edinburgh Hotels Association, said: “The annual summer festivals are part of Edinburgh’s DNA and are a business engine for hotels, bars, restaurants, retail and all elements of hospitality.
“The city’s hospitality industry needs the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to move forward this year. Edinburgh is not Edinburgh without its summer festivals.
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