Edinburgh Fringe under threat if Covid rules aren't changed

The future of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is “in jeopardy” if the Scottish government does not relax the rules on social distancing from venues within 14 days, the promoter has warned.

Shona McCarthy, executive director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, called on ministers to lower the current two-meter rule for venues to the one-meter rule for the hospitality industry.

She said if this doesn’t change it will jeopardize the future of the 75-year-old festival.

Ms. McCarthy told The Times Scotland: “Within two weeks no one will be able to do it [Edinburgh promoter] put something on.

“There is a real threat to the future of the Edge. A year without a festival was manageable and we kept it in our hearts and minds, and everyone still kept this room on their calendar as that annual moment for reconnecting and coming together At the age of two you are endangering the solid space that the edge has held for 75 years.

“This is a moment when we really hope that the Scottish Government will make that leap in confidence and trust fringe operators as much as they trust the hospitality industry to safely provide services to the public.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was canceled for the first time in its history last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Registration for online and in-person appearances opened earlier this month for this year’s Fringe, which will take place from August 6th to 30th of this year.

The results of the Scottish Government’s review of the two-meter social distancing rule are expected to be announced ahead of the planned move to Level 1 on June 7th.


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