Edinburgh International Book Festival cancelled

Edinburgh International Book Festival cancelled

This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) has been cancelled, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh Art Festival have also been called off.

In a statement, EIBF director Nick Barley (pictured) said: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it has been reached in unison with Edinburgh’s other August festivals. Whether it’s our authors, audiences, supporters, staff and suppliers, or citizens and visitors to our wonderful city, the health of the people we exist for is of paramount importance.

"I am aware that the book festival is an important supporter of literary activity not only in Scotland but in all four corners of the earth. My heart goes out to everyone who will miss out this year: the writers, illustrators, artists, chairpeople, publishers and partners we’ve been working with so closely to create the 2020 programme; our staff, sponsors, funders and the loyal audiences whose ticket sales and book purchases are so crucial to the health of the UK literary sector. You are the book festival: without you it wouldn’t exist."

The charity aims to programme online events this summer "offering a place where writers can share their stories, ideas and perspectives with others", although Barley added that he was unsure as yet whether this will be possible.

The festival is the latest in a long line of event cancellations, which includes the Hay Festival, Oxford Literary Festival, Huddersfield Literary Festival and Brideshead Festival.