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Edinburgh Fringe ticket sales “exceeded all expectation”

After having to run a scaled-back event this year, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society says that it considers the festival a success.

Through a mixture of physical and online events, the festival in the Scottish capital (pictured) was able to go ahead for the first time since 2019. While Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Fringe Society said that exact ticket sales will not yet be known, she also said that sales “have exceeded all expectation”.

It has also been reported that more than 65,000 tickets were sold by theSpaceUK, a live performance production company, across its four stages alone. 

Charles Pamment, director of theSpaceUK, said: “Eight weeks ago, we were unsure if we could make anything work, but thanks to the Scottish Government, the council and our wonderful venue partners at Surgeons Quarter we jointly took the risk to make something happen.”

Organisers suggested that the pandemic and restrictions on travel did have an effect on the diversity of the audience, as figures showcased that over a third of the audience was from Edinburgh. A further 17% were from the rest of Scotland while 44% were from the wider United Kingdom. Attendees from over 150 countries were present in 2019.

Also in 2019 however, there was a record number of tickets (856,541) bought by residents in Edinburgh.

McCarthy said: “When registration opened in May, we had no way of knowing for sure what this summer would look like. Today, we celebrate every single show that has been brought to life. 

“I’d like to personally thank and congratulate everyone that made it happen, as well as our audiences, sponsors and supporters who have cheered us on and offered much-needed support through this wild and unexpected year.”

Despite the successful event, the society recently launched a £7.5m (€8.7m/$10.4m) appeal after being badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

McCarthy added: “We’ve still got work to do to ensure the Fringe recovers – but recovery isn’t about growth in the statistical sense. It’s about growth as a Fringe community. As we move forward with our ‘Save the Fringe’ campaign and continue to champion this festival and the wider arts, we’ll be calling on everyone to help us shape what the future of this fantastic festival holds.”

Image: Adam Wilson on Unsplash