Instead the outgoing director says he will use the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as inspiration for the International Festival in 2014. He suggested the Fringe was the best place for independence issues to be played out, insisting the Festival was "a politically neutral space". His comments caused a storm.
He said: "There's no way of me, as a British and Australian citizen, predicting or having the requisite feel for what might happen in the independence referendum. More than that, I've had to start to put in place plans for next year's festival before the date of the referendum was even set. My planning hasn't coincided or been influenced by that event. I'm not anticipating anything in the programme at all."
Mills went on: "The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games is August 3, the following day is the big commemoration for the centenary of the First World War, when Britain entered the war, and we start the festival later that week.
"It would be very natural for me to engage with at least some of the major Commonwealth countries."
Here, 15 leading figures from the Scottish arts give their take on Mills's comments.