Shona McCarthy

Shona McCarthy

Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

“Public engagement, participation and enjoyment of the arts are not peripheral. It is not a luxury. It is vital, central and human.” Shona McCarthy makes her case for the arts to be taken seriously.

She is the chief executive of the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe, which sees more than 50,000 performances staged across 300 venues in the Scottish capital every year.

Featuring free events that allow anyone to get a taste of what the Fringe has to offer, the festivals include comedy, dance, circus, physical theatre, and more.

Established in 1947, the festival is the most dynamic international arts market in the world. It showcases some of the biggest names in the entertainment world, considered a disruptor in the arts world with the thousands of unsigned fringe acts that make their way to the festival each year.

Shona was appointed chief executive in 2016, after leading Imagine Belfast 2008, and Cinemagic, the international film festival for young people. She was a recipient of a NESTA cultural leadership award and was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation in 2014.

Further reading

You can do great things if you don’t care who gets the credit.
Shona McCarthy
Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

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