Edinburgh TV Festival to Go Digital Due to Coronavirus

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Edinburgh TV Festival

The physical edition of the U.K.'s biggest TV event has been scrapped, with the key elements moved online and everything made free for freelancers.

The 2020 edition of the Edinburgh TV Festival, the U.K.'s biggest TV conference, due to take place in August, has been canceled as a physical event due to the coronavirus and is set to be "reimagined online," according to organizers. 

The festival team said this year's digital offerings were "designed to support and connect the television community in light of what has become a very challenging year" and would still include the well-established event's main elements, including the keynote MacTaggart Lecture, the session with the U.K. broadcaster controllers and awards, together with its various talent schemes.

“We have decided that, in the best interests of everyone we would seek to bring together, educate and support, that we will not be staging the TV festival physically in Edinburgh this August. However, our industry is based on creative innovation, and so too is the festival," said festival and TV Foundation managing director Campbell Glennie. “For the past week we have been in consultation with our board, partners and supporters to re-examine not just what we could achieve this year, but more importantly what we should be doing to connect, discuss and find solutions to issues both perennial and particular to the evolving challenges we all face."

The festival said it would also make everything from its online 2020 edition free for freelancers, who have been particularly impacted by the crisis. 

“Television’s vital role in our lives has never been so present, valued and cherished, and so the team will be doing everything we can in 2020 to keep discussion flowing, talent supported and diversity encouraged," Glennie said. "It will not be the festival we know, but it will still be the festival we love."