Especially for the UK-Russia Creative Bridge online forum, Fergus Linehan offered insights into the development of the Edinburgh International Festival’s programmes in these challenging times, discussed EIF’s experience of collaboration with Russian cultural institutions and shared the organisation’s plans for the future.
Fergus and moderator Anton Fleurov talked about possible routes to recovery for international festivals across the world: Will a 'hyperlocal' approach to programming be the new norm? Will the way we produce tours and co-productions change? Will digital formats become essential? What new formats will the future bring?
About the speakers
Fergus Linehan has been Director and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Festival since 2015.
Fergus was born in Dublin where he began his career in the theatre, producing many shows and going on to direct the city’s major arts event, the Dublin Theatre Festival. From 2004 to 2009, Fergus was Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Sydney Festival and from 2010 to 2012, he was Head of Music at Sydney Opera House. From 2012 to 2014, Fergus was Festival Director of Vivid LIVE, an annual event, celebrating ambition and innovation in popular music and digital art.
Since arriving at the Edinburgh International Festival, Fergus has presented work by the world’s leading orchestras, opera, theatre and dance companies as well as expanding the reach of the festival, widening the music offering and creating a special programme of work from countries and artists underrepresented in Edinburgh’s festivals.
Fergus is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and co-chair of IMPACT Scotland, the organisation charged with building Edinburgh’s new concert hall. In 2020 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from Queen Margaret University.
Anton Fleurov is a critic who over the years contributed to various editions including Theatre magazine, Colta online portal, and the Kommersant newspaper. Anton was a co-author of the anniversary edition of the International Festival of Aix-en-Provence Faire vivre l’opéra, un art qui donne sens au monde. Over the years he was involved in curating the international programme of the Golden Mask Festival. Since 2014 curates the Theatre Institute and THEATRUM project.