Fringe's record year

1.3m tickets sold

The Edinburgh Fringe has announced another record-breaking year at the box office.

More than 1.33million tickets were sold this year – up seven per cent on the 2004 figure – and some venues reported even better figures

Tommy Sheppard, director of the Stand Comedy Club, reported sales up 16 per cent on last year. ‘Keeping prices down and quality up clearly works,’ he said.  

And David Bates, Director of the Spiegel Garden said: ‘It’s been our most successful year yet. With the addition of the second Spiegeltent we’ve seen a 40 per cent increase in visitors.”

A new half-price ticket booth on Princes Mall helped swell figures by 45,000.

Fringe Director Paul Gudgin said: ‘I’m once again blown away by the response to this year’s festival. We are selling more tickets faster than ever.

‘The half-price hut seems to have encouraged people to try new things. This was very much a pilot run, but I hope to see it back bigger and better next year, ensuring shows enjoy full audiences and Fringe goers get some real bargains.’

However despite record sales, Gudgin warned  that the festival could become a victim of its own success – almost doubling in size in the last five years.

He said: ‘This is an annual event of Olympian proportions and we’re struggling to find the resources to keep up with the scale of it.’

The biggest-selling comedy shows were Omid Djalili and Dara O’Briain.

The  last month has seen 26,995 performances of 1.799 shows in almost 250 venues and involving an estimated 16,190 performers .

 Theatre, as ever, was the most popular art form (representing 37 per cent of all shows), followed by comedy (22 per cent) then music (21 per cent).


Published: 29 Aug 2005

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