Coronavirus: A message to our friends

With the Edinburgh festivals not going ahead in 2020 and our production on hold, we'd like to give thanks to everyone who makes our magazine possible

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 3 minutes
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Illustration by Eunjoo Lee
Published 13 Apr 2020

In what now seems the distant past, on the final Friday of the Adelaide festival season, the Australian government announced there would be strict crowd restrictions coming into place, starting the following Monday.

For our Australian team, the Adelaide festivals closed on a sombre note.

The acknowledgement of the brilliant 2020 season was now overshadowed by the cancellation of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

People speculated about the impact this would have for everyone involved in festivals worldwide.

The idea that the Edinburgh festivals might still go ahead was soon replaced with the inevitability that they too would be cancelled. But when the announcement came, the fact that it was right made it no less devastating.

For our UK team, it is usually around April that we start to discuss ideas for the six issues covering Edinburgh’s festivals.

It’s a time when we’re back in touch with colleagues and friends, listening to pitches for interviews and features, scheduling timetables and chatting about our favourite time of the year – August.

We talk about theatre-makers, comedians, musicians. All the venues we can't wait to visit; all the shows we want to see. We're excited at the prospect of seeing new work by old favourites and finding a talented newcomer among the swathe of acts.

Of course, our plans cannot go ahead this year.

To all the artists and performers – those who truly make the festivals – we say thank you. In theatres, lecture halls and bar rooms across the city, late at night or giving shelter from an afternoon downpour, your shows move us, make us think and make us laugh.

It is because of performers, technicians, producers that we can do what we enjoy most – writing about the shows we love. Something that has perhaps been too easy to take for granted.

We recognise the courage it takes to bring a show to the festivals. Courage we know artists will need to draw on now during these uncertain times. We know you will continue to do what you do best – create. Create work which entertains and enlightens us. Already we have seen such incredible adaptability and resilience from within the arts community.

To all our readers and to all our writers, critics, designers; to our tireless director and commercial team; to our media partners and all the many people we love working with – we're sorry we're not all catching up now. There'll be lots for us to talk about and to look forward to when we do.

To all involved in the festival world – stay safe, wherever you are.