MORE than 200 fringe events across the globe will mark the first-ever World Fringe Day to celebrate 70 years of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Culture, Tourism and Foreign Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop joined Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy to announced plans for the inaugural worldwide day of celebration on July 11, with performers and audience members urged to join in on social media.
Edinburgh played host to the world’s first fringe in 1947 when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival.
The performers were undeterred by not being on the official programme and staged their shows on the fringe of the main festival, leading to the movement’s name.
Since then, the founding principle of open access has remained key and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has inspired the creation of fringe events worldwide.
Ms McCarthy said: “We are thrilled to reveal the plans for the first-ever World Fringe Day.
“We can’t wait to join with our sister fringes across the world to celebrate the wonder and joy of fringe festivals in this auspicious year.
“This is an incredible opportunity for fringe organisers, venues, participants and audiences to take part in a truly international celebration of creativity that will transcend national boundaries, demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together.
“We hope as many people as possible will join us for a very special day of worldwide fringe fun as we celebrate 70 years of fringe and pay homage to Scotland as the birthplace of the fringe movement.”
The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund will give £100,000 to support World Fringe Day through Creative Scotland.
Ms Hyslop said: “World Fringe Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the global connections that Scotland has made through the arts.
“Edinburgh’s festivals are world-renowned and it is remarkable to think that the fringe movement, that began here in 1947 with the founding of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has developed into a worldwide network with fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica.
“The Scottish Government is proud to support World Fringe Day through our Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund, acknowledging Scotland as the home of fringe and joining with the many other wonderful fringe festivals around the world for an international day of celebration.”
More detailed plans for World Fringe Day will be outlined in the coming months at www.worldfringeday.com
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