EdFringe sells 3 million Tix

Aug 26 2019 | By More

Record-breaking ticket sales, again

The Edinburgh fringe has announced that a record estimated 3,012,490 tickets had been issued at this year’s event, as of 4pm on Monday 26 August 2019.

This figure is a 6.11% increase on last years’s figures at this point, when an estimated 2,838,839 tickets had been issued, Sir Tim O’Shea, Fringe Society Chair, said at the time.

Pic David Monteith Hodge

Despite the landmark figure, The Fringe Society is more keen to emphasise the number of tickets sold to Edinburgh residents saying:

“More residents than ever before attended Fringe shows, with a record 856,541 tickets issued to audience members from the city.”

According to Æ’s records, this means that more tickets were sold to Edinburgh residents this year than were sold in the whole 2000 fringe.

Speaking of this year’s ticket sales, O’Shea said: “We want everybody in Edinburgh to have the opportunity to attend and enjoy the Fringe, which is why we have been developing and enhancing our work to engage with people in the city who might not have had the chance to attend before.

“The positive impact of the Fringe is felt long after August comes to a close – from the artists who use the Fringe as a career springboard to the local communities who come to the festival, many for the first time, and are inspired to take up something completely new.”

Although there has been concerned chat from EdFringe watchers that attendance would be down this year, this has not been born out by the figures.

an enormously successful year

Assembly issued a release today saying: “2019 has been an enormously successful year for Assembly Festival with over 575,000 tickets issued, up 30% on the previous year.”

However the rise has not been universal. Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, directors of Underbelly said: “Ticket sales are 1% down at 417,500 tickets, but for us it is about much more than numbers.

“We’re delighted to have given space to those who want to create work which not only entertains but also addresses issues which affect us all, such as When the Birds Come, America is Hard to See, Ticker, Ripped and Fulfilment”

Gilded Balloon’s figures are up, although it has more venues this year than last, having taken over C-Central on Chambers Street.

Gilded Balloon’s release said: “It’s been the biggest year yet, with two new venues joining the family, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose and Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market, over 100 more shows on the programme, and over 265,000 tickets sold.”

Of the smaller venues, Zoo said: “Over 20,000 audience members have experienced ZOO’s curated programme of bold work. With over 60 shows across 25 days, ZOO has offered audiences a range of physical theatre, dance and theatre work from emerging and established UK and international companies.”

historical perspective,

To put the headline figures into historical perspective, the last time the fringe passed a million barrier was in 2014, when the tickets issued passed the two million mark for the first time (2,183,591). It took 11 years to double in size from the million mark (1,184,738 tickets in 2003).

However, it has taken 13 years for the fringe to double in size to over three million tickets – from 1,531,606 tickets sold in 2006.

This year’s year-on-year increase of 173,651 tickets is more than the total number of tickets sold at the fringe in 1973, when 128,900 briefs were issued.

Next year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from 7 – 31 August 2020.


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