The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced today, Thursday 07 May, that Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea has agreed to remain in his role as Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Board of Directors, due to exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was previously announced that Tim would be stepping down in August 2020; however, with the Fringe not taking place as normal in August – and the Society tackling a range of key strategic issues over the coming months – the board decided unanimously to extend his tenure.

The recruitment process for a new Chair will resume after this period, with the same emphasis on encouraging applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. 

Shona McCarthy, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Chief Executive, said: “We truly are living in extraordinary times and such times call for the most sensible measures. The decision to extend Sir Tim’s tenure as Chair will provide the Society with some much-needed stability as we try to navigate the coming weeks and months.

With the festival and the Society on a financial knife edge, we are urgently seeking support from Scottish Government, the Council and a wide range of supporters and partners. Tim’s vast experience, knowledge and dedication will be invaluable in helping us navigate these challenges, and I’m delighted he’ll be here to help us weather the storm. When this difficult period has passed, and with Tim’s support, we will re-open recruitment once again, with the same principles of diversity and openness in place.”

Sir Tim O’Shea, Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “In my role as Chair, I am committed to securing support for the participants, audiences and staff who make the Fringe happen every year. Now, more than ever, that support is needed. 
“I’m very grateful to Shona McCarthy and the Fringe Society staff who are working extremely hard to pull us through this crisis. Fiona Davis and all the other members of the Board have also pulled together to assist the Fringe. I’m looking forward to continuing to work towards the future of the Fringe, as culture and community are needed now more than ever.”