One of Scotland’s most-loved arts festivals has revealed it will return this year after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
The Fringe By The Sea event in East Lothian will feature acts booked for last year including Peat & Diesel, Basement Jaxx Janey Godley, Candi Staton, The Poozies and the Blues Band alongside a host of new performers set to be announced soon.
This year’s festival will focus on aiding the local economy recover from the pandemic, as well as ensuring performance with live audiences take place in Covid-secure environments.
The ten-day multi-arts festival will take place across North Berwick from August 6 to 15.
This year’s theme of “open arms, open space, open minds” will see diverse groups from the community creating content for the not-for-profit festival.
There will also be a range of new venues for the festival created across the town – with outdoor auditoriums enable audiences of up to 200 people to be socially distanced – in line with current guidelines from the Scottish Government.
As well as live performances, the festival will also provide a focal point for artists and artisans, as well as street food vendors and quality ales.
A number of key performances from the event will also be made available online through support from DC Thomson Media, Belhaven Brewery and the North Berwick Trust.
Festival director Rory Steel, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen just what a vital contribution communities play in public health and wellbeing. Our intention this year is to celebrate the strength of the East Lothian community, invite others in and create new opportunities for people to connect as well as bring exciting new talent and established names to the region.
“With the festival bringing £1.5m of economic benefit to East Lothian, we hope to provide a welcome boost as we recover from the pandemic.”
“While these are challenging times for event planners, the team has been keeping a positive mindset and is preparing for a number of eventualities as to exactly how the festival will be delivered.
“Safety is the primary concern of any event organiser and we will be guided by the latest Scottish and Local Government directives over the coming months.
“We have been hugely encouraged by the support shown to us by our sponsors and grant funding bodies, with special thanks to Belhaven Brewery, DC Thomson, Event Scotland and North Berwick Trust for their significant commitments.”
Andy Williams, chief revenue officer at DC Thomson Media said: “It is an absolute pleasure for DC Thomson Media to be partners of the 2021 Fringe by the Sea. Given the challenges 2020 brought us all – not least a cancelled Fringe by the Sea last year – it is encouraging to begin thinking about, and looking forward to, this summer’s long-awaited and much-loved outdoor event.
“As media partners of the arts festival, we will bring you exclusive news and features across many of our titles and, as well as having a presence at the event, we will showcase how festival organisers have given great consideration to public safety as they bring this fantastic outdoor event back to the streets, parks and outdoor spaces of the stunning location that is North Berwick.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Fringe by the Sea through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. Events are a force for good as they sustain livelihoods and bring social and economic change.
“Through creative thinking and innovation, the event organisers are designing a festival for both artists and the audience to come together in a safe and fun way.”