'Eclectic' Line-Up For Festival

5 June 2014, 18:59

This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be the biggest in history, featuring an "eclectic'' range of more than 3,000 shows, organisers have announced.

There will be 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows across the city, an 11% increase on last year's programme.

Organisers said that customers will find it easier to search for shows and buy tickets through a new online ticketing experience.

Features on the edfringe.com site include improved filtering options and the opportunity for customers to create their own calendar of events and share booked and favourite shows.

They can also post reviews of any show they have seen directly onto edfringe.com.

The Fringe Society has also increased the number of ticket collection points around the city, which now include the domestic arrivals hall at Edinburgh Airport and the Institut francais d'Ecosse in the west end of the city.

In Glasgow, customers heading to the capital can pick up their tickets at Queen Street Station.

Kath M Mainland, chief executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: "This programme is the culmination of the creativity and hard work of thousands of people.

"The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is many things to many people and part of the success of the Fringe is that whatever you are looking for, and in whatever capacity you are looking, you can almost certainly be satisfied by what you find.

"This year the Fringe includes 3,193 shows, which is a record number of shows, but more importantly the programme offers the widest selection of international high-quality arts and entertainment that you will find in any one place at any one time. A truly unique experience.

"This year is an incredibly important year for Scotland with major international cultural, sporting and political events taking place.

"With our eclectic range of shows and uniquely diverse range of voices the Fringe will, as always, be at the centre of things and promises to keep residents and visitors unbored.''

Shows will take place in 299 venues across Edinburgh, including a number of new ones.

Riddle's Court, an A-listed 16th-century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile, is in operation again following extensive conservation work, and joins the C Group as venue C Cubed, while La Belle Angele on Cowgate is reopening as a venue, following the devastating fire in 2002.

This year the former dance and physical theatre category has expanded to become dance, circus and physical theatre in recognition of the growth and popularity of circus shows over the last couple of years.

Spoken Word, which was introduced in 2012 and includes events such as poetry readings and talks, sees an 88% increase in the number of shows since last year to a total of 124.

There has also been a big rise in children's shows, with 22% more in this category than in 2013.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "As we welcome the world in 2014 to see the best that Scotland has to offer, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will play a crucial role helping to attract visitors from all over the world to see and experience the diverse and extensive range of cultural and creative activity on offer.

"The Fringe is world-renowned, boosting our international profile and providing a platform for Scottish artists and companies from around the world.

"Through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund the Scottish Government has awarded more than £15 million to the Edinburgh festivals since 2007, including more than #3.2 million for Made in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

"This demonstrates the Scottish Government's firm commitment to supporting the festivals to give Scotland's performers and companies the opportunity to promote our country's rich culture, heritage and distinct identity on a world stage.''

The Fringe runs between August 1 and 25.