Edinburgh’s businesses today welcomed the announcement that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will return this summer
The Fringe is opening registration for shows from early May, and expects the programme to be made up of both physical venues which conform to Government public health advice and digital offerings via the Fringe’s innovative new digital platform, Fringe Player.
Liz McAreavey, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, the city’s leading business organisation, said: “Hard on the heels of the announcement that the Edinburgh International Festival is to return in August with live performances in three specially built venues, this announcement is further good news for Edinburgh. I know the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Government have worked very hard behind the scenes to make this happen and a lot of work has been put into safety and compliance by Festivals Edinburgh to ensure the Festivals can be enjoyed in a safe environment. Real innovation and perseverance shining through.
“Whilst the Festivals are at the heart of our cultural and social wellbeing, they are also critical to our economy. Our summer Festivals contribute hundreds of millions of pounds to the economy of Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK. The Fringe itself generates in excess of £200 million and recent research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research puts the figure far higher, possibly as high as £1bn including all indirect spend. Over 6000 jobs are supported by the Festivals which are also the platform for our domestic creative talent and performers to launch careers. More than £14m goes into our creative and production companies in Scotland.
“The Festivals also ensure Edinburgh is the world’s culture capital for the month of August every year, attracting enormous international interest and attention. But we should also recognise that 40% of tickets are sold to local people who see the Festival as good for their city. Over 72% of residents surveyed said our Festivals make Edinburgh a better place to live.
“Over the past 12 months our tourism, hospitality and retail sectors have been hard hit by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. With our city centre seeing a 90% reduction in footfall last summer, our Festivals will be critical in animating the city centre and creating the experiential visit that will encourage people back. Businesses will be very pleased to see these decisions made and optimistic that we can, at last, start the road to recovery”