Fringe Society Chief Kath Mainland to step down

The Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Kath M Mainland, has announced she is to leave the organisation after seven years in the role.

She will take on the role of Executive Director of the Melbourne Festival in February 2016.

Commenting on the news, Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “Kath Mainland has worked to great effect with and for festivals for over 20 years.  As the first chief executive of Edinburgh’s Fringe - the world’s largest festival of the arts -Kath has overseen the extraordinary development of the event and represented Edinburgh and  the Festival Fringe Society across the world.   

“In her seven years in the post she has innovated the box office services and online presence, and maintained and advocated for the Fringe’s core open-door ethos. With her commitment to festivals and passion for the arts, she will be missed and will certainly be a major asset to the Melbourne Festival.”

Kath began her career in the arts in 1991 when she first joined the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society as Administrative Assistant. Originally from Orkney, Scotland, she has worked in around Edinburgh’s Festivals ever since, working as a production coordinator and event producer of many of Scotland’s major festivals and events.

In 2005 Kath became general manager of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and was Administrative Director there until 2009 when she took up the newly created post of Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

In June 2014, Kath was awarded a CBE for services to Culture in Scotland. 

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