In the midst of great uncertainty, there is one thing we know: there will be a Fringe from 06 – 30 August 2021, be it live or digital or both.

It’s still too early to say exactly what the festival will look like at this stage, and with the situation changing around us so rapidly, it wouldn’t be sensible or fair for us to speculate. Of course, we’re hoping for a return to live performance, but we are also planning our support for a range of different scenarios – from socially distanced events, to a hybrid programme of digital and live performances, to a more robust digital Fringe.

To give participants and audiences as much flexibility as possible, the Fringe Society has pushed registration opening to early spring, and we will keep it open through the summer. We’re also working to retain a flexible box office and ticketing website, and registration fees are frozen for the 14th year.

In 2020 we moved quickly into the digital space out of necessity, and we learned a huge amount in the process. We listened carefully to all the feedback we received, and we are working hard to develop a strong support service for digital activity in 2021 and beyond. 

And so, whether online or in person, the Fringe Society will be here to:

  • help audiences navigate the Fringe and access the brilliant work being created by artists, producers, venues and creatives
  • provide ticketing and box office services
  • manage key services such as Fringe Central and Fringe Connect (Fringe artists' resource, support and events platforms) and Fringe Exchange (a programme of industry events designed to engage and support industry and artists)
  • champion and celebrate the spirit of the Fringe
  • provide media and PR support where needed
  • engage Edinburgh’s schools and communities with the Fringe
  • help venues and companies to sell tickets and bring in new audiences for their work (through our platform or their own).

As we move forward with our planning, we’re here to talk through plans and listen to ideas, and we’ll keep venues, artists and the public informed every step of the way. Whatever decisions are made, we will always prioritise public health. As such, we will continue to talk with both the Scottish and UK governments to come to the best possible solution. 

We are all sharing in the uncertainty, fear, unpredictability and seeming relentlessness of the pandemic. But one day soon, live performance will be possible again and we will be able to meet and reconnect and feel joy together. Our part in human recovery will be more important than ever. We will continue to prepare for that and to work with our stakeholders to keep Fringe artists, venues and companies in the hearts and minds of audiences, the arts industry and media, both at home and abroad.

For all the latest developments on Fringe 2021, keep an eye on our website and social media channels, and sign up to our mailing list.

Thank you for your patience and support. Stay safe.