Blow to event management companies and traders as Edinburgh Festivals are canned

A nightmare for small businesses: Edinburgh Festival cancelled due to coronavirus

Edinburgh is set to take a £1bn hit this summer after it was announced the Edinburgh Festivals were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is another blow for small businesses north of Hadrian’s Wall,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit, “The various festivals from TV, children, the Fringe and the main festival itself brings in trade for firms of all sizes. Pubs, cafes and restaurants do well, but so do event management companies, sound and lighting firms, printers and paper suppliers with all those flyers and of course the theatre and music companies who stage so many of the events.

“The longer this coronavirus crisis continues the more small and medium sized businesses it effects. Many people who take part in the festivals are self-employed and sole traders and freelancers. It’s all well and good for the Scottish and Westminster Governments to say how sorry they are but businesses affected need immediate help. Grants and loans are one thing but what so many need are a freeze on business rates, rent and mortgage holidays, low interest rates on loans and price caps on utility bills.”

The festival involves event management firms, printers, and sound and lighting companies

The Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, is the world's biggest arts festival, which started in a modest way in austerity Britain just after World War II. It includes The Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival as well as various spin off events such as The Fringe. Around 4.4 million people are attracted to the city for the four or so weeks with 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries taking part in 5,000 events.

The Edinburgh Festivals include the military tatoo with a temporary stadium

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the cancellation was "heartbreaking, but the right decision". Already there are major issues in ticket refunds, deposits paid on hotel bookings and Airbnbs as well as money paid to hire venues.

The festival involves street food vendors as well as trade for the hospitality industry

“It’s going to be a nightmare to sort out,” said Ian Carrotte, “with some firms going to the wall as the expected injection of cash has gone. I urge all firms involved to consider joining ICSM to gain protection from companies that may now be in trouble and will be putting a freeze on paying invoices.”

ICSM Credit

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