The 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe drew to a close yesterday, Monday 31 August, after a series of online events, programmes, platforms and initiatives kept the spirit of the festival alive during the covid-19 pandemic.
Almost 300 digital Fringe listings were registered by artists, venues and creatives on edfringe.com, with everything from throwback Fringe shows to brand new lockdown-inspired creations on offer, including a one-person show about an opera queen a virtual disco for babies, a (socially distanced) improvised musical; online dance-a-thon; a soundscape of a Stirlingshire sheep farm in a field and plenty of Zoom-based comedy, theatre and dance.
Though the official festival finished yesterday, many events are continuing online into September, including Shedinburgh – an online festival of theatre, comedy and more performed in sheds around the country (until 05 September).
Throughout the month, venues and artists across the Fringe have also been fundraising to help them return in 2021.
Through FringeMakers – a festival-wide crowdfunding campaign developed in association with Crowdfunder – just under £250,000 has been raised to support creatives so far.
Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Greenside, Just the Tonic, Monkey Barrel, Pianodrome, Pleasance, Summerhall, Underbelly and Zoo have all raised funds to via the campaign, with a wide range of artists, including Shedinburgh and AJ Bell Fringe on Friday acts, also fundraising through the site.
£50,000 has also been raised so far via the central FringeMakers page. All the money raised from this Crowdfunder page will go to a central artist and venue recovery fund to support their return to the Fringe in 2021.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will work closely with a panel of experts to ensure the fair distribution of funds, with this process starting as soon as possible at the end of the festival.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “This has been a Fringe like no other, and one we will certainly never forget.
“It has been inspiring to see our venues, artists and creatives producing such a range of imaginative work and adapting to the online world in the most difficult of circumstances, and I’m delighted that £250,000 has been raised to support our storytellers and performers.
“I’d like to personally thank everyone who has supported the Fringe.
“The Fringe may be over for another year, but this crisis facing us all is not. As we look back at all that’s been achieved in this extraordinary time, it’s clear that the resilient spirit is strong.
“Now, we’ll keep working to make sure creatives get the support they need to continue. Here’s to our Fringe heroes for 2020 and beyond.”