Edinburgh festival to return in August - outdoors

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Edinburgh's international arts festival will return with a "reimagined" outdoor event in August.

Edinburgh's international arts festival will return with a "reimagined" outdoor event in August, organisers said on Tuesday, after last year's edition was cancelled for the first time in more than 70 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival, which attracts some of the world's leading musicians, comedians and artists, will be held in the fresh air, using temporary pavilions at some of the city's iconic locations.

"While there are still uncertainties ahead, we are confident that this programme will give us the very best chance of delivering a season of live performance from 7-29 August," festival director Fergus Linehan said in a statement.

Art and music festivals such as Edinburgh and Glastonbury were called off last year in line with government measures to cut close-contact transmission of the virus at mass gatherings.

The International Festival began in 1947 as a way to reconcile people and nations through art after World War II.

It comprises more than 5,000 events in Scotland's capital every August, featuring some 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, and audiences of 4.4 million.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors throng the city for the festival with an estimated £300 million ($412 million, 346 million euros) brought into to the local economy.

Organisers said the 2021 event would "safely reunite" artists and audiences to rediscover the magic of live performance.

A selection of performance spaces across the city will include three temporary outdoor pavilions featuring covered concert stages and socially distanced seating.