She replaces Kath M. Mainland, who, as previously reported here, stepped down last year after seven years in the post. McCarthy will take up the role in early March.
The Society is the registered charity that exists to support all participants, industry professionals, media and audience members who attend the Fringe from all around the world, and to produce accurate and up-to-date information and ticketing for the audience, and to raise the profile of the festival as a whole.
McCarthy was previously Chief Executive of the Culture Company, which was responsible for leading on Derry-Londonderry’s year as the inaugural UK City of Culture. She was Chief Executive at Imagine Belfast 2008, Chief Executive of Cinemagic, the international film festival for young people, and Director of the Foyle Film Festival. More recently she’s been working internationally as a freelance cultural consultant and from 2009 to 2011 she was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland. She was a recipient of a NESTA cultural leadership award and was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation 2014.
In a press statement, McCarthy said, "I am thrilled to be appointed Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, an organisation I have long admired. I have spent 25 years working in the cultural sector and have seen up close and personal the transformative power that art can have on people, on cities and on wellbeing. I passionately believe in personal and collective creativity as a force for good in a turbulent world. I have visited Edinburgh and the Fringe on many occasions and there is no better outlet for creative expression than the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the greatest open access arts festival in the world, and I can’t wait to work with and support all those who make up such a wonderful festival. Kath Mainland has done a terrific job and there is a brilliant team already in place, I look forward to joining them.”
The 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run Aug. 5-29. For further details, visit www.edfringe.com