Hello all, 

It’s that time of year again, when Edinburgh glows through the darkness with magic and twinkling lights, and the long summer days of the Fringe already feel like a distant memory. It’s a time to reflect on what’s past while looking forward at what is yet to come. As we prepare to leave 2021 behind, for me, there’s one sentiment that outweighs any other: pride. 

Pride in our artists, who made inspiring work when we needed it most. Pride in our staff, who worked harder than ever to help the festival take place. And pride in our entire Fringe family, from venue operators to audiences, who fought against the toughest of odds to keep this important festival alive.

Back in January, I don’t think any of us could have imagined we’d be together again in the summer, experiencing the joy of live performance in our streets and venues. Our first tickets went on sale in July, and even as our box office opened, we had no idea what to expect. 

By the end of the Fringe, more than 900 shows had opted to take part – both in person and online. There was excitement in our community again. There was hope for the future. And after all the lessons learned in 2021, I’m feeling more optimistic about the future than ever before. 

2022 will be a big year for the Fringe. It’s our 75th anniversary, and it will mark our renaissance as a festival. We’ll be fighting as hard as we can to ensure the wider Fringe recovers, and that the Fringe that returns really does reflect the world we live in.

Recovery isn’t about going back to how things were. It’s about reimagining the Fringe as the very best version of itself, and I’m excited to see that come to life. 

2021 taught us the meaning of strength, resilience and community. And it’s those values that will take us into our future. 

Wishing everyone warm tidings for the season. We can’t wait to see you in 2022.

Best wishes, 

Shona McCarthy
Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society