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Last Updated: Monday, 29 August 2005, 06:52 GMT 07:52 UK
Curtain falls on festival season
Edinburgh Fringe
The festival season has been marked by a jump in ticket sales
Edinburgh's festival season is starting to wind down after a year of record takings at the box office.

The Scottish capital's book, film and fringe festivals all end on Monday, although the Edinburgh International Festival runs for another week.

The fringe is still totting up its figures, but the events are expected to surpass the one million tickets sold in the last two years.

Some venues have been so successful that they are adding extra dates.

However, most of the 16,000 performers - who staged more than 27,000 performances in 300 venues - were due to be heading home after Monday.

It just seems we've been able to make the event more and more attractive year on year
Paul Gudgeon
Fringe Director

Individual venues were reporting their highest ever attendance levels, with the outdoor Spiegel Garden predicting that it would have received 250,000 visitors by the end of this week.

Fringe Director Paul Gudgeon told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It looks as if we're at least 7% up - which is 1,335,000 tickets, 85,000 more than last year - so we can't really complain.

"It just seems we've been able to make the event more and more attractive year on year and there are more people looking to buy more tickets."

Fringe report

But he said there was now a need to reassess the situation over the next 10 years, in the face of tougher competition from events around the UK.

Mr Gudgeon said a report expected in the autumn would prove "crucial" in mapping out a way forward.

The "war on terror" provided a recurring theme at the festival, with many shows touching on the subject of terrorism.

Terrorism The Musical
Terrorism was examined in drama, comedy and musical

They ranged from high drama to stand-up. An opera looked at suicide bombers and questioned the war on terror.

Several shows examined unfolding events in Abu Ghraib jail, others examined US foreign policy and a musical was produced.

The other cultural get-togethers which took place during August included the International Television Festival and, for the first time, the Edinburgh Art Festival.

The Edinburgh International Festival still has a third of its programme to go, closing on Sunday with the traditional fireworks display.

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