Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Fringe box office breaks records

More people than ever bought tickets for Edinburgh Fringe shows
Image caption More people than ever bought tickets for Edinburgh Fringe shows

The Edinburgh Fringe has broken last year's box office record by selling almost two million tickets.

The three-week long arts festival sold 1,955,913 tickets, up more than 5% on last year.

Festival organisers calculated that there were 40,254 performances of 2,453 shows in 259 venues across the city.

Fringe Society chief executive Kath Mainland said: "Edinburgh is without doubt the world's leading festival destination."

In addition to official venues, the Fringe High Street Events team registered 662 acts from street performers to buskers and Fringe artists.

An estimated 21,148 performers took to the stage during Fringe 2010 and 558 shows were absolutely free.

Comedy made up 35% of the Fringe programme, followed closely by Theatre with 29%.

Music 16%, Musicals & Opera 5%, Dance & Physical Theatre 4.5%, and Children's shows 4%, made up the rest of the Fringe programme.

Ms Mainland said: "Audiences have come to know the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as the place to see every kind of art, from the most imaginative children's theatre to topical and incisive comedy and theatre which challenges audiences to discuss and reconsider their world.

"I have seen and met performers from all over world from established names to those make their first foray into the industry.

"They have attended the Fringe for every possible reason, to make audiences laugh, think and imagine, and to get their work seen and develop their creative skills."

She added: "That every person who has performed as part of the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe over the last three weeks chose to be here is exactly why the Fringe is the greatest show on earth."