Recruitment begins for a new Chair, with Sir Tim stepping down in March 2021.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea will step down from his role as Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Board of Directors on 30 March 2021.

Sir Tim, who was Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh for 15 years, joined the Board in 2012. He served two full terms as Chair and was due to step down in 2020. However, we announced in May that Sir Tim agreed to remain in his role following a unanimous request from the Board due to the exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

An open recruitment for a new Chair is now underway, with an emphasis on encouraging applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. The closing date for completed applications is 01 March 2021

We will make an announcement of the new Chair, for an initial period of four years, in April 2021.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “In a period of great uncertainty, Sir Tim O’Shea has been a figure of strength and stability for the Fringe Society, and I am incredibly grateful that he agreed to extend his tenure in the wake of these extraordinary times.

“I’d like to personally thank him for his passion, commitment and foresight, and for his guidance during the most difficult year the Fringe has faced. I know that he will continue to be a great friend both to me and the Fringe Society in the future.

“There’s no doubt that real challenges lie ahead. But I look forward to working with our new Chair to make sure that the spirit of the Fringe burns as brightly as ever, and to build a more resilient Fringe Society to support the return of the Edinburgh Fringe as the best version of itself. We strongly encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds to ensure the Fringe Society is best representing the communities it serves.”

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Fringe Society Chair, said: “I have enjoyed serving as Chair of the Fringe Society Board of Directors, and I was impressed by the resilience and energy of the Fringe team and Board during such a challenging and extraordinary time we faced in 2020. 

“Much has changed in the last 12 months, but my belief in the importance of the arts and the immense value of the Fringe has never wavered. I know how dedicated the Fringe staff team are and I know the Board is totally committed to ensuring the Fringe survives and flourishes. I wish them well and I am sure they will succeed.”

For more information about the role of the Chair, the Board and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, please see the full recruitment pack.