On 13 April 2021 the Edinburgh International Festival announced that the celebrated Fringe festival will be returning this summer, although with a series of social distancing measures in place.
The Fringe society announced that productions can go ahead in outdoor pop-up venues to ensure spectators are able to simultaneously comply with Covid-19 safety regulations.
At the moment there are plans for three venues to be set up, including Edinburgh Park and the quad of Old College at the University of Edinburgh.
However, given the uncertain nature of the future, the society has anticipated the potential for unforeseen circumstances owing to the pandemic.
In this case, all in-person productions will be streamed on a video platform, so people can also enjoy the Fringe festival from home.
According to current Scottish government plans, live events will be able to proceed from May 17 and by the end of June socially distanced groups of up to 2000 people will be allowed to gather outdoors.
However, the government has stopped short of completely guaranteeing that the easing of restrictions will go as planned.
Nonetheless, many companies are already making plans for the Fringe.
Lewis Forman, President of the University of Edinburgh’s Theatre Paradok and Marketing Manager of the Bedlam Theatre Company told The Student:
“Theatre Paradok will be taking at least one show to the Fringe, and whilst Bedlam won’t be open as a Fringe venue this year, our members can’t wait to get involved with as much as they can”.
With many production companies feeling optimistic about their prospects this summer, if the Fringe is to go ahead, it promises to be a great occasion.
Donald Wilson, a City of Edinburgh council culture convener, said:
“Show registration opening up for the Fringe is great news reflecting the energy and resilience of producers, venues and participants following such a challenging year.”
From an economical standpoint, the Fringe going ahead could potentially provide employment for approximately 6000 people, including both performers and domestic employees.
Edinburgh is globally revered as an artistically cultured capital city and the arrival of the Fringe every year attracts the attention of many international tourists.
However, with 40 per cent of tickets being sold exclusively to residents, Edinburgh locals will be able to support the Fringe festival right at the heart of their own city.