2020 Edinburgh Festivals cancelled due to coronavirus
The 2020 Edinburgh Festivals have been cancelled due to the coronavirus updates, organisers confirmed today.
The Edinburgh Art Festival, the Festival Fringe, Book Festival, International Festival and Military Tattoo — all set to take place in August — have become the latest cultural events to fall victim to the pandemic.
The five events together comprise more than 5,000 events across the Scottish capital each summer.
With audiences of 4.4m and more than 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, it is the world’s second largest cultural event after the Olympics.
It is the first time the festivals, which date back to 1947, have been called off.
“Our decision is taken in response to the ongoing risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to prioritise the safety of our audiences, artists, participants, staff and indeed all those working to combat coronavirus,” said Edinburgh Art Festival director Sorcha Carey.
“While it has become impossible to deliver a festival this year, we remain fully committed to doing all we can to continue to support our visual arts community during what is going to be a hugely challenging time in the weeks and months to come.”
Fringe chief executive Shona McCarthy said it was “heartbreaking” that the festivals could not go ahead as planned.
“However, having taken advice and considered all the options, we collectively believe this is the only appropriate response,” she said.
It marks the latest high-profile event cancellation as authorities scramble to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Wimbledon organisers are today expected to announced the cancellation of the world-famous tennis championships, which are due to start on 29 June.