Phoebe Waller-Bridge hails ‘spectacular new dawn’ for  Fringe Festival

The actress said the event's new vision 'reflects the changes in our culture that with heart and sincerity'.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge says Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival to be ‘more inclusive and spectacular than ever before’ Edinburgh FringeiStock

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has hailed a ‘spectacular new dawn’ for Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.

The arts festival is marking its 75th anniversary with a new set of commitments and the Fleabag star says it will be “more inclusive, more accessible and more outrageously spectacular than ever before”.

And the actress, who is also president of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, says the “iconic” event’s new vision “reflects the changes in our culture that with heart and sincerity”.

Speaking about the targets, Waller-Bridge said: “So much has changed in our culture and this new vision of the festival reflects that with heart and sincerity, while fiercely maintaining the wild spontaneity and creative freedom it has provided artists and audiences with for the past 75 years.

“This is a new dawn for an iconic cultural event that’s going to be more inclusive, more accessible and more outrageously spectacular than ever before.”

The Fringe outlined its new vision with six development goals, including a pledge to be a carbon zero event by the turn of the decade.

It also wants to be the “best place in the world for emerging artists to perform” and pledges to eradicate unfair or exploitative working conditions.

The Fringe, which will put on its first full programme since 2019 in the Scottish capital this summer, wants to “give anyone a stage and everyone a seat”.

But it also wants to ensure it is a “force for good” within the city of Edinburgh.

Changes this year will see the festival switch to exclusive use of e-tickets, while there will be a free, annual family event for Edinburgh residents.

Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “We want the Fringe to remain the world’s premier performing arts festival and we can only do that if it keeps pace with change in the city, in the country and in the sector.

“Anyone with a story to tell should be able to find a stage and an audience at the Fringe, but there are some real barriers to being as accessible as we truly want to be.

“Participating in the festival can be straining, physically, financially and mentally. It’s important that we work to tackle these issues head-on and continue to ensure that artists see the Fringe as a positive experience.”

And Ms McCarthy said the “whole fringe community” were making commitments to “tackle the big issues” on climate change.

She said: “While the whole Fringe community has taken steps to reduce carbon emissions, we must do more to contribute to Scotland’s goal to becoming net zero by 2045.

“We are making commitments now to tackle the big issues together and will be helping the entire Fringe community to play its part, and we want to get to net zero by 2030.”

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