Fringe By The Sea set to return this August as plans are unveiled

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A SCOTTISH arts Festival has made preliminary plans to return this year in August which will be set in East Lothian.

East Lothian’s Fringe by the Sea has today announced its plans which it says will focus on a programme that will aid the local economy in a Covid-secure environment.

Tying in to Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, the festival says it will shine a spotlight on the county’s rich natural environment.

Fringe By The Sea General shot - Entertainment News Scotland
The Harbour Home of the festival will become a focal point for artists and artisans from East Lothian and beyond to showcase their products.

The theme of the festival will be ‘open arms, open spaces, open minds’ will see the festival explore a number of  new commission-based projects that will involve diverse groups within East Lothian’s community community to create content for the not-for-profit festival.

The multi-arts festival will run from the 6th-15th of August and will host a variety of acts from around Scotland.

Acts rebooked from the cancelled 2020 event including Basement Jaxx, Peat & Diesel, Janey Godley, Candi Staton, The Poozies and the Blues Band, a host of new performers will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

Glenkinchie Johnnie Walker is partnering for the festival’s author, conversational and comedy programmes.

Commenting on the plans for August, Festival Director Rory Steel, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen just what a vital contribution communities play in public health and wellbeing.

Fringe By The Sea - Entertainment News Scotland
The festival plans to return in a Covid safe way in line with government guidelines

“Our intention this year is to celebrate the strength of the East Lothian community, invite others in and create new opportunities for people to connect as well as bring exciting new talent and established names to the region.

“With the festival bringing £1.5m of economic benefit to East Lothian, we hope to provide a welcome boost as we recover from the pandemic.”

The festival will receive support from partners North Berwick Trust, Belhaven Brewery and DC Thomson Media.

Changes  to Fringe by the Sea include the use of new spaces across the town, with outdoor auditoriums enabling social distancing for audiences of up to 200 people.

Further to live events, a number of key performances will be made available through webcasting.

East Lothian Council Provost John McMillan said: “It’s great news that Fringe by the Sea will be going ahead this year and in a format that will allow this to happen safely.

“East Lothian Council has supported Fringe by the Sea since its inception and I’m delighted that we are continuing to do so.

“Events and festivals really help to put East Lothian on the cultural map and are a great draw for both local residents and those coming from further afield.

“The council’s Economic Development team is working very hard to deliver on recovery planning for the region and having a strong programme of activities and attractions forms a key part of the strategy to help our economy bounce back and support our local businesses and attractions.

Fringe by the Sea 2021 will be a great asset to our destination offer and will be a boost to East Lothian and its residents in many ways.”