Edinburgh Fringe Festival Canceled Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes over the Scottish city's stages and streets every August.

The big summer comedy and stage event has been called off along with Edinburgh's other August traditions, including its book fest.

Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the large summer event for stand-up comedy and other stage productions, is the latest victim of the new coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers on Wednesday said the August tradition, which is considered the world's largest arts festival, was being called off along with Edinburgh's other August festivals, including its book fest, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The Fringe, whose lineup features comedy shows, plays, musical performances, dance and other stage shows, as well as street performers, was scheduled to run Aug. 7-31.

Fringe Society CEO Shona McCarthy in a statement said that, "we are working hard to mitigate the impact of this decision on Fringe artists and audience members," including a vow to refund "all participant registration fees, as well as refunding the Fringe tickets and friends memberships."

She added: "We are also offering participants who have already paid the alternative of rolling their show registration forward to the 2021 Fringe to cover an equivalent show listing."

McCarthy said the decision was not easy. "We have spent the past month listening to a broad cross-section of Fringe participants, as well as to government, health care professionals, residents and many more," she explained. "However, in light of present circumstances it was unavoidable. Public health must and always will come first."