Edinburgh Fringe cancellation: Questions and Answers | As issued by the Festival Fringe Society

Edinburgh Fringe cancellation: Questions and Answers

As issued by the Festival Fringe Society

Following today's announcement that the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe would not be going ahead in anything like its normal form, the Festival Fringe Society, which puts together the programme and co-ordinates the event, issued these answers to key questions:


How was the decision made? 

Today’s decision that the Fringe will not go ahead as planned was not taken lightly. We have spent the past month listening to a broad cross-section of Fringe participants, as well as to government, healthcare professionals, residents and many more. We have been in constant discussion with our board and stakeholders, and while there were a range of opinions and options to consider, public health must come first.

Will the Fringe go ahead in 2021? 

Yes. Based on the information currently available, we believe the coronavirus outbreak will not extend into next year, so should not stand in the way of the 2021 Fringe. We will take our lead from official guidance and continue to plan for the 2021 Fringe with the health and safety of our participants and audiences in mind. The dates for next year are provisionally set as 06 to 30 August. 

Will I get a refund for the tickets I have purchased?

Yes, we will be contacting all customers who have purchased tickets for 2020 Fringe shows in order to arrange a refund over the next few weeks. We will also be offering the option to donate or convert the ticket value to a gift voucher. By donating or by converting the ticket value to a gift voucher, customers will be supporting the Fringe Society and Fringe artists.

Will I get my show registration fee refunded?

Artists will be given the option to either receive a full refund of their registration fee or roll it over to cover an equivalent registration for the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. We will be in touch with all registered participants as soon as we can regarding this. 

My venue say they might put on shows at the Fringe if the situation improves. Is this true?

The Fringe Society is a small charity that exists to support Fringe artists and audiences and therefore does not have the power to cancel the festival as a whole. The Fringe remains an open access festival, which means the Fringe Society does not decide who can and cannot put on shows. We are advising all venues and companies to follow the latest government and public health advice, and will continue to provide support and guidance for all participants as the situation progresses.  

How can I support the Fringe?

  1. Choose to donate the cost of your tickets
    If you’ve purchased tickets you can directly help the artists whose shows you’ve bought tickets for. By choosing this option the artists, creatives and venues that make up this incredible festival will receive the funds as part of our regular payout process.
  2. Opt for a gift voucher
    If you’ve purchased tickets, opting to have these reissued as a gift voucher will offset the cost of transaction fees (around 16p per ticket) and will help us to mitigate the financial impact of the Fringe not going ahead as planned.
  3. Make a donation
    The Fringe Society is a charity and your support during this time is invaluable to help us continue to make the Fringe the greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet. Donations, no matter how big or small, will provide much needed support for the Fringe Society in the weeks and months ahead.


Published: 1 Apr 2020

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