Fergus Linehan to remain Edinburgh International Festival director until 2022

THE figurehead of the Edinburgh International Festival is to stay in the role for an extra three years, organisers have revealed.

Fergus Linehan has been at the helm of the Edinburgh International Festival since the 2015 event.

Fergus Linehan will be at the helm unil at least 2022 - the event’s 75th anniversary - after being offered an extention on his contract.

The Irishman, a former artistic director of the Sydney Festival and head of music at Sydney Opera House, was appointed director for five festivals, from 2015-2019, in the spring of 2013.

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However the festival’s board of trustees has reached agreement with Mr Linehan to stay on for at least another three festivals after steady growth at the box office since he replaced Sir Jonathan Mills.

A record £4.3 million was generated in ticket sales during the recent 70th anniversary season.

Mr Linehan said: “I’m very grateful to the board for giving me the opportunity to lead this extraordinary institution for a further three years.

“The commitment and creativity of the festival team has made the past three years the most professionally exhilarating period of my career.

‘We have tried, over this time, to broaden the festival’s appeal while safeguarding our commitment to quality and virtuosity.

“Over the next five years we look forward to developing new initiatives that will support the continued growth and development of this remarkable event.

“I’d like to thank our stakeholders, donors, fellow festivals and, most particularly, the people of Edinburgh for their ongoing support and enthusiasm.”

Niall Lothian, chairman of the EIF board of trustees, said: “We’re delighted that Fergus has accepted the board’s invitation to extend his contract as festival director to 2022.

“His first three festivals revealed his in-depth knowledge of all cultural genres and his extensive contact book of artists and performers.

“Future festivals will, I’m sure, continue to reveal his creativity and innovation.”