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31 August 2015, 18:17
The Edinburgh Fringe and International festivals have been hailed a "spectacular success'' as performances draw to a close.
Millions of people have visited the Scottish capital throughout August to watch comedy, theatre and music shows as well as a number of free outdoor performances such as a light show projected on to the Usher Hall to celebrate 50 years of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.
Almost 2.3 million tickets have been issued for 50,000 Fringe events, an increase of more than 5% on last year, while the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has taken in £3.8 million in ticket sales, surpassing last year's record receipts by around 19%.
Kath M Mainland, 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.
The 2015 EIF has been acclaimed as an "outstanding year'' with highly rated shows including Antigone with Juliette Binoche and Lanark by David Grieg.
Festival director Fergus Linehan found his first year in the role "exhilarating''.
"All that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world,'' he said.
"This alliance of artists, audiences, government agencies, the media, donors and sponsors is unprecedented and all of us at the Festival office are deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute to this remarkable organisation. We will continue to seek out artists of the highest calibre and present their work to the widest possible audience.''
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "From the opening notes and illuminations of the spectacular The Harmonium Project to the crescendo of the festival fireworks, this is has been a great year for the Edinburgh International Festival.
"The festival has delivered music, theatre, dance and culture of the highest quality, including Lanark - a remarkable production that we have been proud to support through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund.
"I have been impressed how the festival has pushed the boundaries to connect to wider audiences with projects such as Fanfare and 'From Castlebrae with Love.''
She 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.''