Edinburgh festivals come to a close

Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) and Edinburgh Festival Fringe (EFF) have drawn to a close after a month of exceptional performing arts in the Scottish capital. The festivals were wrapped up with a spectacular fireworks display around Edinburgh Castle.

Almost 2.5 million people bought tickets for shows at EFF, with thousands also attending un-ticketed events as part of the free fringe. That represents a 7.7 per cent increase on the previous year. More than 50,000 performances of 3,269 shows took place between 5-29 August.

‘EFF plays an essential role in the global arts community, providing a platform for artists from around the UK and the rest of the world to showcase their work and make new connections,’ said EFF Society chief executive Shona McCarthy. ‘With 48 countries represented in this year’s programme, the breadth and diversity of talent on offer has been astounding.’

In addition to performances, EFF also offered professional development opportunities at its Fringe Central hub. Over 100 such events took place, giving participants the chance to learn about touring, fundraising, and skills development – and even how to put on their own successful EFF show.

EFF also addressed the issue of access, with Fringe Central hosting a series of events titled Breaking Down Barriers that explored the issues of accessibility, equality and diversity for fringe performances.

Next year marks EFF’s 70th anniversary, which McCarthy described as a ‘fantastic milestone in the history of Edinburgh’s festivals.’

Sales figures for EIF have yet to be released.

eif.co.uk / edfringe.com