RECORD-BREAKING YEAR FOR EDFEST.COM - ASSEMBLY, GILDED BALLOON, PLEASANCE AND UNDERBELLY - THE LARGEST GROUPING OF VENUES ON THE FRINGE

27 August 2018

As the 71st anniversary edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comes to a close with the announcement of record breaking ticket sales across the festival, edfest.com are delighted to report a bumper year for the four major venues with 1,658,437 tickets sold, an increase of 9% on Fringe 2017.

Accounting for 58% of all tickets sold at the Fringe, edfest.com – where Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly come together to host some of the world’s best and brightest talent – continues to be the beating heart of the Fringe. Collectively, they run 97 venues, present 858 shows and employ more than 1800 staff making them the largest grouping of venues on the Fringe.

William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director, Assembly, said: "We have had another incredibly successful Festival this year with nearly half a million tickets sold across our 200 plus shows. Many of our companies have enjoyed full houses, 5 star reviews, nominations and awards including, My Left Right Foot which won both a Fringe First and a Herald Angel and Casting Off which won the Total Theatre Award for Circus. I am also delighted to see the number of international performers at the Festival continuing to grow despite our uncertain political climate, and for 2019 we will continue to work closely with our partners in Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and many other European countries to ensure that we bring the very best artists and work to Edinburgh each year."

Karen and Katy Koren, Artistic Directors, Gilded Balloon, said As we come to the end of another Fringe season, we’re reflecting on what has been an absolutely fantastic month across all Gilded Balloon venues. We were delighted to return once again to the National Museum of Scotland and Teviot Row House, and open the doors to the Rose Theatre for the second year running. Our 2018 programme put women at the forefront, with Luisa Omielan, Hot Brown Honey, Maisie Adam and The Miss Behave Gameshow just a few of the fantastic performers we hosted throughout August. Gilded Balloon remains a firm favourite on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe landscape and we take great pride in our programme which celebrates home-grown and international talents, from established acts to those with burgeoning careers ahead.”

Anthony Alderson, Director, Pleasance said: It’s been a fantastic Fringe where we have broken box office records throughout the month. Our biggest and boldest programme ever has seen us fill a trophy cabinet of awards that include Fringe Firsts, both Edinburgh Comedy Awards, The Holden Street Theatres Award and the Filipa Bragança Award. Companies have thrived off how busy and buzzing the city is. In particular, we’ve noticed this at Pleasance at EICC where audiences have trebled this Fringe. The Pleasance remains a hub for audiences because of the great and diverse shows found within our programme - from brilliant newcomers to the most exciting international artists to our famous family programme. Our long-running partnership with Waverley Care has this Fringe smashed through the £500,000 mark which is also an amazing achievement.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors, Underbelly, said: “We are delighted that so many of our companies and artists have been recognised with awards, strong audiences and superb reviews. This year it has been about much more than numbers. It has been about the opportunity to support artists to perform here, to develop and invest in shows, to present a strong line up of new writing, innovative comedians and the best of international contemporary circus, and give space to those who want to create work which not only entertains but also addresses issues which affect us all. We are also delighted to have raised over £43,000 for charity over the course of the Fringe. Every year we are inspired by the talent, creativity and commitment of the artists, performers and staff across Underbelly, and we would like to thank 2018’s incredible team who worked tirelessly to deliver such an exceptional year.”