Coronavirus in Scotland: Edinburgh International Festival to press ahead with full programme

The Edinburgh International Festival is to press ahead with its full programme of events this summer despite the global impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Festival director Fergus Linehan says he hopes the event will be 'a much-needed moment of joy after what will have been a challenging summer.'
Festival director Fergus Linehan says he hopes the event will be 'a much-needed moment of joy after what will have been a challenging summer.'

Organisers say they are "committed" to running the full three-week festival as planned in August ahead of its programme being unveiled next week.

They say they are hopeful the global pandemic will be "curbed" by August and that the long-running cultural celebration will "provide a much-needed moment of joy after what will have been a challenging summer."

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Festival director Fergus Linehan said the event was going ahead to "provide security for our artists and for our sector."

Festival director Fergus Linehan is due to unveil the 2020 programme next week.

Tickets for all shows at the festival, which was instigated in the aftermath of the Second World War, will go on sale as planned on 28 March.

However the festival has announced that it has changed its refund policy to state that ticket-buyers will be able to be reimbursed if they decided not to attend an event or travel to Edinburgh due to their concerns about the outbreak.

The festival said it had decided against staging official planned programme launch events in Edinburgh and London this month, with the line-up being revealed on the festival's Facebook page instead.

Mr Linehan: "At this point, the festival is almost 5 months away.

"For now we remain committed to running the festival as planned.

"In hope that the pandemic will be curbed by August, we must continue to provide security for our artists and for our sector. We hope that, in August, our festival will provide a much-needed moment of joy after what will have been a challenging summer.

"To reassure our audiences, we have also revised our refunds policy to offer anyone with coronavirus related concerns a ticket refund."

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