Linehan to leave EIF

Jul 20 2021 | By More

EIF announces hunt to successor

Fergus Linehan is to leave “the best job in the world” at the Edinburgh International Festival in September 2022 after completing eight years as its Festival Director.

The EIF is now looking for “an outstanding artistic leader with the creativity, vision and dynamism to shape the future of the Festival”. Applications for the role have now opened with a deadline of Friday 1 October 2021.

Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director Pic Mihaela Bodlovic

The EIF said in a statement: “The new Festival Director will take the International Festival to its next stage, bringing the finest music, dance, opera and theatre performers to the renowned stages of Edinburgh’s performance venues alongside a digital programme that gives global audiences access to the Festival from their own home.”

Linehan was announced for the EIF in 2013, succeeding Jonathan Mills. His first festival was in 2015, when he also moved it back into synch with the Fringe. In 2017 he accepted an offer to extend his initial five year tenure to eight years, making 2022 his last event.

He said: “As we prepare to welcome audiences to the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival, the time is right to think beyond the end of my tenure, and begin the search for a Festival Director who, from 2023, will lead us in new and exciting artistic directions.

“This is the best job in the world, and all at the festival are excited by this next chapter of the Festival’s history.”

exceptional eight-year tenure

The new director will oversee a festival which had a turnover of some £13 million in 2019, when 2,800 artists from 41 countries gave 293 performances at 155 events to 434,507 attendees – of whom 53% were local to Edinburgh.

The Festival Director is answerable to the EIF board. Its chair, Keith Skeoch, issued a statement on its search: “As Fergus Linehan completes his exceptional eight-year tenure as Festival Director in September 2022, we now commence our worldwide search for his successor.

“The successful applicant will join at a historic moment as the broader arts sector rebuilds after COVID-19.”

He added: “We seek applicants with experience working across genres and around the world, with the skill and ambition to grow the Festival’s global reach and influence.”

The application pack is available to download here.

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