Future of Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 'real danger' unless social rights rules on distance loose

Monday, May 31, 2021

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be "in danger" if the Scottish Government does not relax its social dissociation rules for venues within 14 days, its promoter has warned.

Shona McCarthy, director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, urged ministers on Thursday to move away from the existing "two-metre rule" in place for venues towards a "one-metre rule" for hospitality.

Unless that changes, the future of the 75-year-old festival would be at risk, he warned.

The results of the Scottish Government's review of the 2metres rule on social behaviour are expected to be announced ahead of its proposed stage 1 move on June 7.

McCarthy told Times Scotland: "Within another two weeks, it's going to be impossible for any [Edinburgh promoter] to put on anything.

Last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe was cancelled for the first time in its history following a devastating pandemic of coronavirus.

The show's eligibility for both online and in-person gigs opened earlier this month for this year's Fringe, which runs from August 6th through 30 this year.