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Edinburgh Festival Loses Another Director

February 13, 2007

The director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the most successful arts festival in the world, is to leave the post to work in direct competition with his current employers.

Paul Gudgin, a director since 1999, is to step down and will work on developing a festival in South Korea, and possibly with others in Australia, Canada and elsewhere in the UK. He is the latest in a line of high profile directors to leave one of the city’s famous festivals.

Sir Brian McMaster, the artistic director of the main Edinburgh International Festival, recently left after 15 seasons, and over at the International Film Festival, Hannah McGill was also installed recently as a new director.

Mr Gudgin who was a key figure in warning that the “thundering hooves” of other festivals, fears of which are now enshrined in an official report, will soon be rivals to the annual event.

Published last year, the Thundering Hooves report, backed by all the city’s festivals, warned that the millions of pounds they attract to Scotland’s economy were at risk from new arts festivals in Britain and abroad.

However, the annual festival of comedy, theatre, music and drama, had the most successful festival in its 60-year history under Gudgin, selling 1.5 million tickets in 2006, the fourth year in a row it has passed the million-ticket mark.

Mr Gudgin will remain with the Fringe until the launch of the 2007 programme on June 7. It is anticipated that the post of director of the Fringe will be advertised in the next few weeks.

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