Tag: Edinburgh

02
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

Edinburgh International Festival ordered to improve diversity in its programming

The Edinburgh International Festival has been ordered to ensure greater diversity in its programming by the Scottish Government in the wake of claims that women, disabled acts and artists of colour were overlooked in this year’s online programme.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 7:00 am

Soraya Mafi and Jonathan McGovern appeared in Scottish Opera’s production of The Telephone, which was filmed at the King’s Theatre. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

The event is to be closely monitored in future to ensure it makes improvements and meets official “obligations” on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The government has revealed that the festivals has “accepted” there were a lack of “female artists, artists with disabilities and artists from non-white backgrounds in the online programme, which was announced in early August.

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The festival, which receives more than £4.5 million from the government and the city council each year, has apologised for the make-up of this year’s programme after being targeted in an online petition.

Stina Tweeddale, who performs as Honeyblood, was filmed at Leith Theatre for this year’s online programme. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

Formal complaints were also made to culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and Iain Munro, chief executive of the government’s arts quango, Creative Scotland. They were urged to take steps to “ensure positive change happens and that this organisation is held accountable for their unethical working and programming.”

Campaigners claim the festival failed to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement with a line-up of artists who were “almost 90 per cent white.”

The number of male performers in the programme were said to be double the number of women, while disabled artists were said to be overlooked completely.

Organisers admitted they had failed to “reflect the diversity of practice in