Edinburgh International Festival extends Fergus Linehan’s contract until 2022

Fergus Linehan. Photo: Eoin Carey
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Edinburgh International Festival has extended director Fergus Linehan’s contract for an extra three years, meaning that he will run the festival until at least August 2022.

Linehan joined EIF in 2013, directing his first festival in 2015. He had a contract to deliver five festivals. The EIF said that so far during his tenure it has had record sales and extended to new audiences.

One of Linehan’s first moves was to bring the dates of the EIF forward a week to run at the same time as the Edinburgh Fringe. Other innovations include a free public event to open the festival season in Edinburgh and developing its theatre programme, notably in its revival of existing Scottish work.

In a statement, Linehan said: “The commitment and creativity of the festival team has made the past three years the most professionally exhilarating period of my career.”

He added: “We have tried, over this time, to broaden the festival’s appeal while safeguarding our commitment to quality and virtuosity. Over the next five years we look forward to developing new initiatives that will support the continued growth and development of this remarkable event.”

Niall Lothian, chairman of the EIF board of trustees, said: “We’re delighted that Fergus has accepted the board’s invitation to extend his contract as festival director to 2022.

“His first three festivals revealed his in-depth knowledge of all cultural genres and his extensive contact book of artists and performers. Future festivals will, I’m sure, continue to reveal his creativity and innovation.”

EIF 2018 runs from August 3 to 27. The programme is due to be announced on March 14, 2018.