Edinburgh Art Festival cancelled for August 2020

Edinburgh Art Festival cancelled for August 2020

credit: Allan Pollok Morris

City's celebration of visual art will not go ahead this year, for the first time in its history

Although Edinburgh has been leading the Scottish cultural scene with various major festivals for over 70 years, up until 2004 the visual art sector was still in the need of its own; then came the Edinburgh Art Festival and the number of high quality cultural programmes skyrocketed. In light of the current COVID 19-pandemic and the risks posed by it however, the organisers have made the difficult decision to cancel the festival's 2020 edition.

And they are not alone; the five major August festivals in Edinburgh have decided to take the inevitable step and cancel their events for this year.

The Edinburgh Art Festival has offered a platform for over 15 years, bringing together the city's most prominent galleries, museums and art spaces to celebrate the best in visual art. Featuring local, national and international artists over numerous exhibitions, the festival has always been the voice of both well known and up-and-coming artists from all over the world. Alongside the major exhibitions and festival programmes, visitors can explore their artistic side by attending various workshops, engagement activities and community projects. And though the organisers are optimistic that some of the planned events may go ahead, providing the galleries and museums will be open by August, the majority of the festival is sadly not going forward this year.

As festival director Sorcha Carey says: 'It is with deep sadness that today we announce the cancellation of Edinburgh Art Festival 2020. Our decision is taken in response to the ongoing risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to prioritise the safety of our audiences, artists, participants and staff.

'We are incredibly proud of the role Edinburgh Art Festival plays each year in bringing together our city's galleries, museums and production spaces to showcase the very best in visual art from Scotland, the rest of the UK and around the world, as part of Edinburgh's August offering. While it has become impossible to deliver a festival this year, we remain fully committed to doing all we can to continue to support our visual arts community during what is going to be a hugely challenging time in the weeks and months to come.

'We hope that it will be possible for galleries and contemporary art spaces across the city to reopen their doors in the coming months, and we will share news of upcoming exhibitions and events when they occur; in the meantime, we will explore alternative and creative ways to continue our work with artists and audiences.'

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