Edinburgh’s Christmas, a six-week long festival in Scotland’s capital city, has seen its ticket sales more than double over the past five years, new figures reveal.
Organisers of the winter festival claim that three quarters of a million tickets were sold in total for this year’s programme.
The 13-per-cent boost in ticket sales in 12 months has been attributed to the several new additions to the line-up. This year, promotors have extended the winter festival with a new art project on prominent buildings and landmarks running until Burns Night on January 25.
Further additions included a ‘frozen museum,’ an 80-metre tall ‘drop tower’ visible across the city, and the first-ever festive run for hit Fringe cabaret show La Clique.
Promoter Underbelly, which sold more than 387,000 tickets in the first year of its contract in 2013, saw a record 781,520 tickets sold in its fifth and most recent festival. In addition, footfall figures are believed to be up by at least 25 per cent over the same period.
The company said nearly 150,000 local residents took advantage of a 20-per-cent discount on tickets, which was up around nine per cent on the previous event.
Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said, according to the Scotsman newspaper: “We’ve had another bumper year with record tickets sales and more locals than ever engaging in Edinburgh’s Christmas.
“In our fifth year of producing the event, we were delighted to introduce some great new attractions, most especially the ‘Ice Adventure,’ which transported visitors into an historical and mythical Scottish winter wonderland.”
Underbelly also won permission to turn St Andrew Square garden into a temporary ice rink for the Christmas festival, despite a controversial ban on Fringe shows being staged there last summer.
Frank Ross, the city’s Lord Provost, said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas was a real showstopper, with more tickets sold than ever before, a welcome rise in the number of Edinburgh residents enjoying their local discount, and people from 47 countries flying in to experience the city’s rides, attractions and everything the city has to offer.
“Edinburgh’s Christmas certainly remains one of the UK’s favourite winter destinations. These figures prove the festival continues to attract record numbers of visitors and supports footfall to the city centre – providing a welcome boost to our local economy while bringing everyone together to enjoy Edinburgh in winter.”
Image: Graham Campbell