The 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe came to a close on Monday, with the spectacle having sold an estimated 2,838,839 tickets, according to a tally taken on the final afternoon ahead of closing events.
The recorded sales represented a five-per-cent increase in comparison with the same point last year. Organisers said that early indications showed that almost half of those who snapped up tickets came from Scotland. According to the Scotsman, this year’s final-day tally marks a record for the festival.
Some 317 venues across the city – from large theatres to a chicken coop with a capacity of just three – staged events during the festival. In total, 3,548 shows were held, addressing a wide range of issues such as sex and consent, political uncertainty, gender equity, class and religion.
Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “2018 has been another fantastic year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Artists from around the world have flocked to Scotland’s capital, delighting audiences with work that is exciting, shocking, entertaining, world class and often, hilarious. From cabaret to children’s shows, invigorating dance and physical theatre, to life enhancing drama.
“Whatever the medium, so many Fringe artists help us to question the world around us and illuminate the most challenging areas of being human in new ways. It is an exceptional festival where audiences can curate their own experience and where all ages and tastes are catered for.
“The redevelopment of the Virgin Money Street Events has been embraced by audiences and performers, and we are proud to have improved the accessibility of our street events arena on the Royal Mile with dedicated viewing areas for those with access needs, fully accessible stages, BSL interpreted performances and sensory backpacks for children and adults on the autism spectrum. We are committed to breaking down barriers to attending the Fringe and through the Fringe Blueprint we will continue to work to address issues that affect participants and audiences at the festival, to ensure that no matter who you are or where you come from, you feel you can have a voice and be welcomed here in August.”
Fringe Society Chair Sir Tim O’Shea added: “Following on from the success of the Fringe’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the 2018 Fringe has been a feast for the senses and the soul. Our thanks go to the thousands of participants that have brought their passion and enthusiasm to this year’s festival, dazzling and inspiring audiences from home and abroad with an astounding array of work.”
Next year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from August 2-26.