ED2011 News

Another record breaking Fringe

By | Published on Monday 29 August 2011

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

What’s that, another record breaking Edinburgh Fringe?

Apparently so. The persistent rain and ongoing economic uncertainty hasn’t had a negative impact on the number of seats filled at this year’s Fringe festival, or so says the Fringe Society, which publishes the central programme, runs a central box office and provides other services to the Fringe community. By its maths, some 1.88 million tickets were issued this month, compared to 1.83 million last year. And that’s before you take into account those free events where head count is less easy to calculate.

As the Fringe wrapped up for another year, the Fringe Society’s CEO Kath Mainland said: “I am delighted to announce this year has been another incredibly successful event. The courage and creativity of the thousands of individuals that participate in this unique, world-class event are what make this such an inspiring and important festival. Performers of all disciplines and backgrounds coming together to tell their stories and share their ideas is an utterly compelling prospect for the audiences, who have flocked to this beautiful festival city”.

She added: “Companies start a journey at the Fringe that will continue and resonate with audiences in different spaces and festivals across the UK and all around the world, for a long time to come. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a magnet for performers who come here to share their work in innovative ways and I would like to thank each and every one of them, for their creative endeavour and for deciding to make the Fringe their home for the last month”.

Mainland concluded: “That almost 1.9 million tickets have been issued for this great festival, as well as the many, many people who have experienced the free non-ticketed performances, is a great testament to the resilience of the world’s largest arts festival. The Fringe’s committed, loyal and risk-taking audiences have this year enjoyed another exciting, exhilarating, challenging and entertaining month in Edinburgh”.

Of course while everyone in the Fringe community will be pleased that 2011 seems to have gone well in terms of audiences, some still fear for the 2012 festival, which will compete with the Olympics down South for talent, technicians, equipment and ticket buyers. Though those of a more optimistic persuasion hope that having a global spotlight on the UK just as Edinburgh’s summer festivals kick off might have a positive rather than negative impact on the proceedings. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s programmed International Festival runs for one more week until the big fireworks concert next weekend.