The highly anticipated decision from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society was given today with an announcement that, in various forms and by a variety of means, the show will go on.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Society said, “We’re delighted to be able to open registration for 2021. Of course, we’re still very much in planning mode as we await further updates from the Scottish Government, but this feels like a hugely positive step in the right direction".
Registration for Fringe 2021, which runs from 6th-30th August, will open on Wednesday 5th May. To give artists and venues maximum flexibility and opportunity there will be no closing date, with the system remaining open till the end of the Fringe. The opening date for ticket sales is still to be confirmed, but it will be in early summer. Meanwhile the emerging programme can be viewed online at edfringe.com and bookings will be available at tickets.edfringe.com which is part of the website.
The Fringe news comes after the Edinburgh International Festival confirmed that its event will take place from 7th-29th August, ‘using bespoke outdoor venues to safely reunite artists and audiences to rediscover the magic of live performance’. Temporary outdoor pavilions will be established in locations such as Edinburgh Park and the University of Edinburgh’s Old College Quad, with covered concert stages and socially distanced seating. The International Festival will also release a selection of high-quality streamed performances free of charge during each week of the Festival. To accommodate COVID-19 safety measures, performances will be shorter and without intervals. The full programme will be announced on Wednesday 2nd June with general booking opening on Friday 11th June and can be viewed at eif.co.uk
With election campaigning under way in Scotland, many decisions at governmental level in relation to public events and COVID-19 safety are not expected till after the result is known on May 6th. Once those regulations are issued, the City Council of Edinburgh will be able to set down its own conditions under which the Fringe and the EIF will be required to operate and to which all live performances must adhere.
Meanwhile, The Fringe Society is continuing its work of supporting artists in the delivery of their shows. Many will no doubt seize the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, having been off-stage for so long. However, financial constraints on companies are likely to be greater than ever this year and many will want to take advantage of the Society’s latest innovation, Fringe Player. The Society explains that ‘ this online platform aims to bring some festival magic into homes across the world, while providing a secure platform for artists, companies and venues to host their shows’. The facility will be available to all registered Fringe ‘21 performers and venues.
As one of the biggest media outlets at this event, Broadway Baby will be giving its full support to artists, venues and The Fringe Society. Reviewers around the country will be glued to their screens for online performances and a team will be reside in Edinburgh revelling in the opportunity to see actors on stage once again and almost certainly enjoying the chance just to revel: responsibly, of course. See you there - Sláinte!