Edinburgh Festival Fringe to get £1.25m boost to ‘bounce back’ in 2021

The organisers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will receive extra funding to help the festival “bounce back” next year.

The 2020 Fringe was cancelled for the first time in the event’s 73-year history due to the coronavirus crisis.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced several funding measures for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society on Friday, including a £1 million interest-free loan.

Fiona Hyslop
Fiona Hyslop said the Fringe is one of Scotland’s ‘greatest cultural exports’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The charity will also benefit from a £100,000 grant from Edinburgh City Council and a £149,000 grant from a Scottish Enterprise resilience fund.

Organisers announced in April that this year’s summer festivals would be cancelled.

Ms Hyslop said: “This has been an extremely worrying time for people whose livelihoods, careers and well-being have been affected by Covid-19 and the cancellation of festivals such as the Fringe.

“I am one of many thousands of people who will miss the Fringe this year.

“It is one of Scotland’s greatest cultural exports and this funding package will help ensure the world-renowned festival can bounce back in 2021.

“Many performers, cultural organisations and businesses rely on the festival and I hope it can build on its previous major successes to safely return to the international stage.”

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “This funding is a life raft to the Fringe Society, enabling us to properly support the extensive ecosystem of artists, venues and businesses who rely on the Fringe.

“This festival is about much more than three weeks in August.

“It’s an embodiment of how culture and creativity unites us, and in this incredibly difficult time, we’re grateful to be working so closely with our partners at Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and City of Edinburgh Council on this common goal.”

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