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Events innovation and resilience during uncertainty: reflections from the festival city!

Ali-Knight, Jane



As I sit at my desk, as the nights draw in and the temperatures fall, my mind is transported to the summer of 2022 and the re-emergence of Edinburgh as a Festival City (world leading apparently!) as it was the first time the festivals had been able to operate without strict COVID regulations. Edinburgh Festivals consists of 11 recurring events held in Edinburgh each year and before the pandemic struck, the August festivals combined (Edinburgh International Festival; Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; Edinburgh International Book Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival) were the world’s third largest ticketed event, just behind the Olympics and football World Cup in scale, selling millions of tickets each year. Together, the five August festivals comprise over 5,000 events across Scotland’s capital, welcoming audiences of 4.4 million and over 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries and transform Edinburgh into a prominent cultural destination every summer (Festivals Edinburgh, 2020). This morning’s launch of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s review of the year 2022: an in-depth look at the work it has accomplished over the past 12 months also makes me reflect on the summer long gone. With unease caused by a new wave of COVID in early 2022, there was still uncertainty that a fully formed Fringe could take place this August and that Edinburgh would once again be a mecca for artists, tourists and industry to visit as the Festivals (Film, International and Fringe) celebrated their 75th year (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2022).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Mar 2, 2023
Journal Event Management
Print ISSN 1525-9951
Publisher Cognizant Communication Corporation
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Keywords Edinburgh; events innovation; resilience