It is hard to reflect on last year’s Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals when so much has changed since their close at the start of this year. However, it is important to review what the Winter Festivals achieved in 2019, to record the events and performances and to provide details of the festivals’ financials, our community impact and fundraising for charities.
The report also reflects on the wider contribution of Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals to the city, its residents and businesses. Two thirds of our suppliers are from the local area, and we worked with no fewer than 625 separate local businesses. We also couldn’t have done this without over 800, mostly local, staff. A huge thank you to them all. Both festivals receive very high satisfaction ratings and generate wonderfully positive stories and images of Edinburgh and Scotland.
The cross-subsidy received by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay from Edinburgh’s Christmas has allowed us to increase the annual expenditure on Edinburgh’s Hogmanay by over £1M to nearly £4.5M.
In the Covid-19 world, alongside our sister festivals, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will have an important role to play in Edinburgh’s economic and social recovery. But, first and foremost, our planning will prioritise public safety. Thereafter, we will put Edinburgh and its communities even more at the heart of our festivals; we will support local businesses; and, we will continue to be ambitious. Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals are world-class events – and we want Edinburgh and Scotland to continue to be proud of them.