Edinburgh Festival 2020 cancelled: ticket refund details and what happens next as Fringe, Book Festival and Tattoo called off

Edinburgh main festivals, due to take place in August, have all be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

By Finlay Greig
Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 1:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 12:12 pm

The Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, the Tattoo, and the city’s art and book festivals have all been cancelled for 2020.

The main festivals have instead agreed to invest all their time and effort on a revival in 2021.

Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “It’s heart-breaking that the Fringe and our sister August festivals will not take place as planned this summer. However, having taken advice and considered all the options, we

Sign up to our daily newsletter

All Edinburgh festival events have been cancelled for 2020 including the military tattoo (Getty Images)

collectively believe this is the only appropriate response.

“Our thoughts today are with the doctors, nurses, health and social care professionals on the front line, as well as all those affected by this dreadful pandemic.

“Our sympathies too are with the thousands of artists and participants directly affected by today’s decision – we will do everything we can to support you over the coming months.”

How do I get a refund?

Those who have purchased tickets for the Fringe will be contacted in due course and offered a full refund. Alternatively Fringe supporters can donate or convert the ticket value to a gift voucher.

Those who had tickets for the 2020 Tattoo will be issued a full refund or offered the opportunity to transfer their 2020 ticket to 2021.

The Edinburgh International Festival already announced earlier this month that they would offer full refunds to those who had already purchased tickets for the festival.

As the Book Festival’s programme for 2020 had not yet been launched there will be no need to issue refunds to would-be attendees.

What happens to performers and shows?

In an official statement on their official website the Edinburgh Festival Fringe stated that they were working to “mitigate the impact of this decision on Fringe artists”.

They confirmed that they were committing to refunding all participant registration fees.

They have also offered participants who have already paid the alternative of rolling their show registration forward to the 2021 Fringe to cover an equivalent show listing.

Tattoo organisers are hoping that they will be able to continue working close with current performers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.

What happens to public funding for the festivals?

The main festivals have agreed to focus all their efforts on a full-scale revival in 2021 after being assured that £10 million of public funding for the events remains intact.

Will the festival be back in 2021?


Assuming the coronavirus pandemic has dissipated by August 2021, which seems likely, the 2021 festivals will go ahead as planned.

How can I support the festivals?

The cancellation of the festivals is of course a huge blow to thousands of performers, organisers and various stakeholders.

You can show your support for the festivals by donating.

You can donate to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival here, to the Edinburgh International Festival here and the Edinburgh Book Festival here.

If you have a ticket booked for the Royal Military Tattoo you can support them by rolling over your visit to 2021.