Edinburgh Festival Fringe Kicks Off Aug. 3

News   Edinburgh Festival Fringe Kicks Off Aug. 3 This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe kicks off officially Aug. 3, running to Aug. 25, though some venues have already begun performances.

Now in its 51st consecutive year, the Fringe is just one of a series of competing festivals being staged in Edinburgh at this time of year: the Edinburgh International Festival (Aug. 8-31), the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (July 25-Aug. 3), the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Aug. 9-25), the Edinburgh Art Festival (July 31-Aug. 31) and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Aug. 1-23). However, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest of the events, commanding a 75 percent market share of all attendance at Edinburgh's year-round festivals and annually generating around £75 million for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy.

It also keeps growing larger and larger. This year's fringe is expected to feature 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues – up from 31,000 performances of 2,050 shows last year and 28,014 performances of 1,867 shows in 2006.

This year, for the first time, comedy dominates, comprising 32 percent of the program, with theatre at 29 percent, music at 17 percents, musicals/opera and dance/physical theatre at 5 percent each, children's shows and events at 4 percent each, and exhibitions at 3 percent. An estimated 18,792 performers will take part. Forty percent (838) of the shows are classified as world premieres, with 278 shows from the remaining 60 percent being European premieres and 52 being U.K. premieres.

Last year nearly 1.7 million tickets were sold, marking the second consecutive year that over 1.5 million tickets were sold.

To book tickets for fringe shows, contact the central Fringe box office at 0131 226 0000 or visit www.edfringe.com.

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