As the 65th Edinburgh Festival Fringe draws to a close the Fringe Society has announced that an estimated 1,877,119 tickets were issued, reflecting an enormously successful event.
Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:
"I am delighted to announce this year has been another incredibly successful event. The courage and creativity of the thousands of individuals that participate in this unique, world-class event are what make this such an inspiring and important festival. Performers of all disciplines and backgrounds coming together to tell their stories and share their ideas is an utterly compelling prospect for the audiences, who have flocked to this beautiful festival city.
"Companies start a journey at the Fringe that will continue and resonate with audiences in different spaces and festivals across the UK and all around the world, for a long time to come. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a magnet for performers who come here to share their work in innovative ways and I would like to thank each and every one of them, for their creative endeavour and for deciding to make the Fringe their home for the last month.
"That almost 1.9 million tickets have been issued for this great festival, as well as the many, many people who have experienced the free non-ticketed performances is a great testament to the resilience of the world's largest arts festival. The Fringe's committed, loyal and risk-taking audiences have this year enjoyed another exciting, exhilarating, challenging and entertaining month in Edinburgh."
Inspiring interactive theatre alongside classic work has defined the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Companies winning awards for involving audiences with visceral and thought provoking interactive work included The Oh F**k Moment (Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe) which immerses audiences in a series of moments and mistakes that cannot be reversed and site specific Allotment (Nutshell) which has been soothing soggy audiences with scones and meditations on the joy of the British outdoors. Overnight spectacular Hotel Medea (Zecroa Ura) has haunted, broken and revitalised audiences, You Once Said Yes (Look Left Look Right) used Edinburgh as its stage whilst daring audiences to say yes to a series of every day moments, whilst critically acclaimed Bluemouth Inc's Dance Marathon saw audiences dedicating themselves to over three hours of constant dance moves. The 31st year of comedy's most famous accolade; the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award recognised Adam Riches' Bring Me The Head of Adam Riches for its thoroughly fearless level of audience engagement.
Poetry continues to draw in audiences with Luke Wright's Cynical Ballads, Tim Key's Masterslut, and Robert Burns: Not In My Name gaining critical acclaim and sell out audiences, and the artform also took to the streets with the Poetry Take Away which adorned Bristo Square. The Fringe programme hosted its first Cabaret section from which Mat Ricardo's Three Balls and a New Suit received a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel.
There was talk of politics by comedians and theatre makers alike. Andy Zaltman was joined by Daily Show correspondent John Oliver and Daniel Kitson for Political Animal. Josie Long received a second Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination in as many years for The Future Is Another Place exploring politics past and present. Dust (Quidem Productions) discussed the hypothetical death of Margaret Thatcher alongside the political and social context of 2011 and the award winning Mission Drift (TEAM) used original songs to talk economics, capitalism and atomic bombs. White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Volcano) by a young Iranian dramatist invited a different performer to the stage each day to weave a political yarn with fresh eyes.
Critically acclaimed Alma Mater (Fish & Game) took the use of technology up a level with an exploration of childhood in a bespoke children's bedroom on an iPad journey for one. And (g)Host City (Edinburgh's Virtual Festival) saw audience members shaping their own experience moving about the city to find unique pieces of work to slot into their Fringe.
Venues with a more traditional base included award winning Remarkable Arts at both Hill Street Theatre and St Georges' West, the BBC@Potterrow which brought the cream of BBC broadcasts all under one roof, with Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw hosting their own cabaret events, alongside BBC Radio Scotland's Fred Macaulay Show and many many more. In a bold and creative move Assembly moved its operation to George Square and introduced three new spaces and installation Mirazozo and Bank of Scotland Herald Angel winning Summerhall at the Edinburgh University's Royal Dick Veterinary College hosted an award winning programme.
Technology was not only used on stage, the Fringe iPhone and Android apps have seen downloads of over 35,000 with audiences able to engage in new ways for 2011 including access to the Virgin Money Half Price Hut and a ticket buying facility which sold over 20,000 tickets - making shows all over Edinburgh even more accessible to audiences.
- www.edfringe.com saw traffic up 19% on 2010 making it the essential destination for ticket buyers and Fringe fans.
- Find comprehensive Fringe 2011 awards lists on our 2011 Award Winners page.
- In 2011 an estimated 1,877,119 tickets were issued compared to 1,829,931 tickets issued in 2010. This does not include free non-ticketed events.
- Fringe 2011 featured 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues
Fringe 2010 featured 40,254 performances of 2,453 shows in 259 venues
Fringe 2009 featured 34,265 performances of 2,098 shows in 265 venues
Fringe 2008 featured 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues
- An estimated 21,192 performers took to the stage in Fringe 2011, compared to 21,148 in 2010 and 18,901 in 2009.
- 607 shows at the Fringe in 2011 were absolutely free, compared to 558 in 2010.
- 1,319 of the shows on the Fringe this year were premieres.
- The recent Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study showed that the Fringe annually generates around £142 million for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy. The study also showed that 89% of Edinburgh respondents said that the Fringe and other Festivals increase local pride in their home city.