Phoebe Waller-Bridge says Edinburgh Fringe is entering a new dawn

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Phoebe Waller-BridgeImage source, Getty Images
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Phoebe Waller-Bridge says the festival wants to maintain its creative freedom

Phoebe Waller-Bridge says Edinburgh's Fringe festival is entering a "new dawn" as it marks its 75th anniversary.

The Fleabag star, who is president of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said its new vision will make the event more inclusive and accessible.

This year the world's largest arts festival is preparing to host its first full programme since 2019.

It has outlined six development goals which include a pledge to become a carbon zero event by 2030.

The Fringe says it wants to be the best place in the world for emerging artists to perform, and is also pledging to eradicate unfair or exploitative working conditions.

Waller-Bridge said: "So much has changed in our culture and this new vision of the festival reflects that with heart and sincerity, while fiercely maintaining the wild spontaneity and creative freedom it has provided artists and audiences with for the past 75 years.

"This is a new dawn for an iconic cultural event that's going to be more inclusive, more accessible and more outrageously spectacular than ever before."

Image source, Getty Images

The Fringe Society's chief executive Shona McCarthy added: "Anyone with a story to tell should be able to find a stage and an audience at the Fringe, but there are some real barriers to being as accessible as we truly want to be.

"Participating in the festival can be straining, physically, financially and mentally. It's important that we work to tackle these issues head-on and continue to ensure that artists see the Fringe as a positive experience."

She said the event would scrutinise any suggestions that volunteers and workers were facing exploitation, or reports of unfair or unsafe working practices.

"We will withdraw our services from any repeat offenders," she said.

The Fringe says it wants to widen access and remove barriers for disabled artists and audiences.

There are also plans to host a free annual family event for Edinburgh residents, along with the commitment to only use e-tickets this year and reduce the Fringe programme's print run by 50%.

Waller-Bridge is one of the artists who got their big break at the festival, winning a Fringe First award in 2013 for Fleabag. The play formed the basis for the television series which made her a household name.

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