News: Bumper Fringe For Big Four Venues

The Edinburgh Fringe's four main venues – Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly – have announced record-breaking ticket sales across the festival, with 1,520,435 tickets sold, an increase of 15% on Fringe 2016. 

Accounting for 56% of all tickets sold at the Fringe, Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly collectively run 83 venues, present 798 shows and employ more than 1600 staff, making them the largest grouping of venues on the Fringe.

William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director, Assembly, said: “This year has been a tremendous success. The 70th year of the festival and our return to the Assembly Rooms in George Street has resulted in over half a million tickets being issued to Assembly’s programme of over 200 shows. Many of our companies have enjoyed sell-out runs, 5 star reviews, nominations and awards including: Hannah Gadsby who was picked as joint winner at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for Best Show, ‘The Fall’ and ‘Enterprise’ who won Scotsman Fringe Firsts, Gandini Juggling who were awarded a prestigious Herald Archangel for their sustained and valued contribution to the festival, and Kane Power’s ‘Mental’ which won the first ever Mental Health Fringe Award. I am delighted to see that the number of international performers and visitors to the City continues to grow year-on-year and we look forward to their valued return in 2018.”

Karen Koren, Artistic Director, and Katy Koren, Creative Director, Gilded Balloon, said “The Gilded Balloon has had an amazing festival in this 70th year of the Fringe with tickets sales up 13%. Being the smallest of the big four venues, selling over 216,000 tickets has been incredible. The addition of our new venue Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre in the New Town, has been a successful venture and allowed us to programme some outstanding local talent, including family musicals from Captivate Theatre productions and the welcome return of Craig Ferguson to the festival after a 20-year absence.”   

Anthony Alderson, Director, Pleasance said: “The 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been one of the best festivals I can remember. The quality of the work created is unprecedented with shows winning a plethora of awards in this landmark year, including three Fringe Firsts and a winner in both Comedy Award categories. Our incredible staff have pulled off an amazing festival and we look forward to sharing another brilliant programme with you next year!”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors, Underbelly, said: “This has been a phenomenal year for Underbelly - we believe our programme is the best we’ve ever produced and ticket sales have proven it. We’ve smashed all sales records and have had consistently packed houses across all of our venues with audiences enraptured by the talent on show. We would like to thank 2017’s incredible team who worked tirelessly to deliver such an exceptional year.”

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