Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Announces Worldwide Day of Celebration to Mark Fringe's 70th Anniversary

Published: Wed, Apr 26 2017
Posted in General, Media Releases
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Announces Worldwide Day of Celebration to Mark Fringe's 70th Anniversary

Today Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs for the Scottish Government and Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society announced plans for the inaugural World Fringe Day, an international day of celebration that will take place on Tuesday 11 July. More than 200 fringes from across the world will join together on World Fringe Day to reflect on the collective power and worldwide reach of the fringe movement. Fringe participants and audiences are invited to take part on the day, by sharing their love for all things fringe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2017 is the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s first fringe. Over the last 70 years, the spark which was ignited in Edinburgh in 1947 has circled the globe and the fringe model has been emulated from Australia to France, Canada to Prague, South Africa to Brighton, China to Brazil, and everywhere in between.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

“We are thrilled to reveal the plans for the first ever World Fringe Day. We can’t wait to join with our sister fringes across the world to celebrate the wonder and joy of fringe festivals in this auspicious year. This is an incredible opportunity for fringe organisers, venues, participants and audiences to take part in a truly international celebration of creativity that will transcend national boundaries, demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together. We hope as many people as possible will join us for a very special day of worldwide fringe fun, as we celebrate 70 years of fringe and pay homage to Scotland as the birthplace of the fringe movement.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs for the Scottish Government said:

“World Fringe Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the global connections that Scotland has made through the arts. Edinburgh’s festivals are world renowned and it is remarkable to think that the fringe movement, that began here in 1947 with the founding of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has developed into a worldwide network with fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica. The Scottish Government is proud to support World Fringe Day through our Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund, acknowledging Scotland as the home of fringe and joining with the many other wonderful fringe festivals around the world for an international day of celebration.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, VisitScotland said:

“We are delighted to support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to create World Fringe Day, celebrating the Fringe’s historic 70th anniversary in what is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.  Edinburgh is internationally recognised as the home of the Fringe, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a leading model that continues to be emulated the world over.  The Fringe is at the very heart of the national and international brand of Edinburgh as a festival city, driving significant visitors to the city and beyond and showcasing Scotland as the perfect stage for events."

Heather Croall, Director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe said:

“Adelaide Fringe is really excited to join our sister fringes around the world to celebrate World Fringe Day. The global fringe movement continues to grow from strength to strength, so it seems only fitting to introduce a worldwide day of celebration, where everyone that has been involved in or enjoyed attending a fringe festival can reflect on what fringe means to them. As we mark 70 years of fringe, we will also be taking the opportunity, on this inaugural World Fringe Day, to wish the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a very happy 70th anniversary.” 

Adam Mitchell, Executive Director of Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Canada, said:

“We are very proud to be part of the thriving global network of fringe festivals and are looking forward to joining in the World Fringe Day celebrations on 11 July. Fringes come in many different shapes and sizes but are united in their dedication to providing platforms for artists to bring their work to new audiences, allowing them to share their ideas and develop their skills. World Fringe Day will provide an excellent opportunity to shout about all that is great about fringe festivals and we hope as many people as possible will get involved.”

Tony Lankester, CEO of National Arts Festival, South Africa, said:

“In 2017, more than ever before, we need to hear the world’s artists and storytellers loudly and clearly and, more importantly, we need to preserve and promote the spaces in which they can be heard. Nowhere is that done more effectively than on the stages of the world’s fringe festivals. At 70 years old the global fringe movement is more relevant than ever. While each country and every fringe has its own unique fingerprint, voice and story, we are united in our spirit of independent, free expression. What binds us is a shared determination to create spaces in which ideas are contested, and where respect, empathy and understanding are forged. May the fringe ideal survive another 700 years.”

Holly Lombardo, Managing Director of World Fringe added:  

“World Fringe Day will bring focus to the hard work and passion that people put into making fringes all over the world happen. Fringes are known for innovation, igniting creative genius and supplying the creative food chain with the stars of the future. World Fringe Day is a chance to celebrate the opportunities these festivals represent and to tell the world that they can join in too.”

Further plans for World Fringe Day will be unveiled over the coming months at www.worldfringeday.com.

To mark the 70th anniversary year of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a special open-top tour bus provided by Lothian was unveiled in Edinburgh today. The bus features 70 fringe fingerprints, each one made up of the names of the towns and cities around the world that host fringes, and will be used on Lothian’s Edinburgh Bus Tours operation.

Richard Hall, Managing Director of Lothian Buses said:

“Lothian is delighted to support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as it celebrates its 70th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the fringe movement. This new open-top tour bus marks 70 years of transporting visitors and residents around Edinburgh during August and throughout the rest of the year, helping people explore some of our beautiful city’s most iconic sites. Keep an eye out for this very distinctive Fringe bus around the capital’s streets.”