Record numbers, cultural access, special postmarks - it's Fringe 2015!

With a new initiative to aid cultural access for children, a very special honour from the Royal Mail, and fantastic audience numbers, Edinburgh Festival Fringe has had another massively successful August.

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In all, the biggest ever edition (over 50,000 performances) of the biggest arts festival in the world saw approximately 2.3 million tickets issued for its 3314 shows, an increase of 5.24% on 2014 tickets, plus attendance figures in the thousands for the hundreds of free events performed as part of the Fringe. 

Kath M Mainland CBE, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: 

As this year’s Fringe draws to a close we can reflect on what a spectacular success it has been. Once again artists and audiences have travelled from across the globe to be a part of this unique cultural event. And with an estimated 2,298,090 tickets issued and many thousands of people attending the 800 free shows in the programme, I’ve no doubt every single person who watched a Fringe show, or experienced this wonderful festival city, will take away unforgettable memories.
With incredible talent from 49 countries from all over the world taking part this year, the Fringe has once again demonstrated itself to be both truly international and profoundly Scottish. The 2015 season has firmly cemented Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s leading festival city.

Fringe 2015 saw a new initiative launched by the Fringe Society, the City of Edinburgh Council and Virgin Money, to enable attendance from hundreds of children and young people whose circumstances would not normally allow them to participate. In all, the Access Fringe - Looked After Children project made over £173,000 worth of tickets available for 233 shows, as part of the Fringe's commitment to increasing accessibility for all. 

In another coup for the Fringe, it became the first festival ever to be given its own special postmark in the Royal Mail's 500 year history. UK mail stamped between 7 and 31 August featured the mark, in celebration of the scale and diversity of the festival.

Fringe Society Chair, Sir Tim O’Shea said: 

On behalf of everyone who visited and enjoyed this year’s Fringe, I would like to thank all the creative souls, both onstage and backstage, who brought their work here. Their courage, creativity and sheer hard work is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and without them, the Fringe simply wouldn’t be possible. 

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs added:

This has been another incredible year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival continues to evolve and work with the city to expand and offer more and more to audiences from across the world. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe demonstrates the innovative spirit that makes Scottish culture so vibrant.

Fringe 2016 will take place from 5-29 August. Find out more about the Fringe, with information, photos and useful links.

And use our handy planning guides to help you prepare for next August!

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