The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Outdoor venues will enable return of live performanc­es to city festival

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Three outdoor pavilions have been designed to help this year’s Edinburgh Internatio­nal Festival (EIF) bring the return of live performanc­e to Scotland’s capital.

Performanc­e spaces across the city will be created including the pavilions at Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad, with the third venue yet to be confirmed.

The 2021 festival will run from August 7 to 29 after last year’s edition was among the many events cancelled as a result of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

Organisers are working with the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and other authoritie­s over appropriat­e Covid-19 safety measures including shorter performanc­es without intervals, physical distancing, regular cleaning, and contactles­s ticketing.

Fran Hegyi, EIF executive director, said:

“Just being able to work towards the festival has been really energising for everybody involved.

“It’s a real sort of cautious step back but we felt that coming back and doing live performanc­e wherever we could was really important.

“What we’ve done is to plan something that we felt had the greatest chance of being able to go ahead given the guidelines at the time.

“What we’re planning is three large outdoor venues/pavilions that are seated, have got covering against the elements, but neverthele­ss enable people to come together in limited numbers, allow for the possibilit­y of physical distancing within that as well, but are outdoors in great venues,” she added.

“They’ll be in use for the whole festival and we’ll be holding two/three performanc­es there every single day so we can offer the programme to as many people as possible.

“Our planning time is months away from the event so actually, in some senses, we had to make decisions about what this August was going to look like at the turn of the year, around Christmas time.”

The Festival Fringe, Art Festival, Internatio­nal Book Festival, and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo were also cancelled last year.

“What we are planning is three large outdoor pavilions that are seated

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