Edinburgh TV Festival goes digital due to COVID-19

Edinburgh TV Festival goes digital due to COVID-19

Organizers of the 2020 Edinburgh TV Festival are shifting the event to  online in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Originally scheduled to take place August 26-28, the festival will be reimagined as a digital event for the industry, with some of its key components to take place virtually.


These include The MacTaggart Lecture and controller sessions, as well as the Foundation industry schemes: The Network (for future TV talent), Ones to Watch (designed “to celebrate and develop the best the industry has to offer”) and TV PhD which brings together television and academia.


The statement also underlined that organisers will create “a stream of online content, to launch in the coming weeks, underpinned by the editorial rigour you’ve come to expect from the festival.” Programme details will be announced in due course, as will names of participants and speakers.


The festival’s TV Awards will be staged later in the year.

Organisers further pointed out that the full online festival offer will be made available to freelancers at no cost.


Managing Director of the TV Festival and TV Foundation Campbell Glennie commented: “For the past week we have been in consultation with our board, partners and supporters to re-examine not just what we could achieve this year, but more importantly what we should be doing to connect, discuss and find solutions to issues both perennial and particular to the evolving challenges we all face.

“Television’s vital role in our lives has never been so present, valued and cherished, and so the team will be doing everything we can in 2020 to keep discussion flowing, talent supported and diversity encouraged. It will not be the Festival we know, but it will still be the Festival we love,” he added.


This year’s Advisory Chair, BBC TWO Controller Patrick Holland commented: “I believe that Edinburgh’s role as a lightning rod for our industry is more important than ever this year. The key themes we’ll be discussing; the future of the PSBs in the UK ecology, the role of TV in the climate emergency, reflecting the diversity of the audience in who makes and is featured in our shows – are brought into even sharper relief by the coronavirus crisis. I look forward to working with the team to bring that spirit to everyone between now and August.”