Corona update - The Edinburgh International Children's Festival has been cancelled.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are deeply saddened to announce the cancellation of this year’s Edinburgh International Children’s Festival which was due to be held from 20-31 May this year.

Advice from the government, theatre venues and schools closing mean it is no longer possible for the Festival to take place. Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our audience, performing companies, artists and staff has to remain our number one priority.

With a programme of 15 international productions, nearly a hundred Scottish artists performing at the Family Day and over 90% of schools tickets already booked, this year’s Festival was shaping up to be a real success. Our efforts will now focus on supporting the people we work with and finding innovative ways to deliver our year-round programme.

As a result, we are launching a special Ideas Fund to support artists and give them new opportunities to create work. These small grants will fund selected artists to develop creative ideas to occupy and inspire children and families isolated at home because of the virus. We are a small charity working with a range of artists making theatre and dance for young audiences and any help to support them weather this storm will be deeply appreciated. If you are in a position to, please donate here:

Festival Director Noel Jordan said:
“Our priority is now on supporting those we work with and minimising their potential loss of income. I want to ensure the cancellation of the Festival does not mean financial hardship for the small arts organisations, freelancers and independent artists we rely on to make our Festival the special event that it is. So we will honour the contracts of all those individuals who were confirmed to work on the Festival this year. We will also work with artists over the coming months to support them and to find artistic responses to the coronavirus situation. For now, we would like to thank our funders, partners, performing companies and audiences for their loyalty, support and understanding.’’ 

The Board of Directors would like to pay tribute to the hard work of the Imaginate team in developing this programme and to the many artists who were due to be involved in delivering the Festival.  


The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival showcases the world’s best theatre and dance for children with performances that are deeply engaging, innovative and inspiring. It has established itself as one of the best places for programmers and artists to see high quality work, discover new talents and network with peers from all over the world. In 2019, the Festival attracted 320 industry delegates from 25 different countries. The shows, aimed at 0 to 15 year olds, include a mix of theatre and dance and attract an audience of over 13,000 children, families and schools every year.

As well as festival shows, the delegate programme includes delegate-only events such as discussions and work-in-progress, networking opportunities and social events to keep delegates busy all week! The delegate events programme is available to registered delegates only and runs Monday to Saturday (25-30 May). 

If you have any queries about being a delegate at the Festival, please contact our Delegates Coordinator Julian Almeida.
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