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Curtain comes down on Fringe Sunday

posted 5 May 2009, 05:22 by David Rintoul   [ updated 17 Nov 2009, 11:41 ]

The biggest event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been axed after almost 30 years because organisers have failed to find a major sponsor, The Scotsman can reveal.

Fringe Sunday, which has regularly attracted crowds of more than 250,000 people, has said it cannot afford to stage the showcase for new performers. Officials admitted defeat after more than nine months trying to secure backing for the event, which started in 1981.

News of its demise emerged days after The Scotsman revealed that tramworks had forced the traditional curtain-raiser to the city's festivals season to relocate from Princes Street. Organisers of the Festivals Cavalcade, which will now be held in Holyrood Park, have promised to try to fill the gap left by the end of Fringe Sunday by offering groups the chance to perform on the afternoon of the parade.

The shelving of Fringe Sunday is the biggest sign yet that the recession is having an impact on Edinburgh's festivals.