Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 20:02 UK

Ticketing problems hit festival

Edinburgh fringe shop on royal mile
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 3 to 25 August

Organisers of world renowned arts event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, have insisted it would run as planned, despite major ticketing problems.

Technical issues have meant up to 150,000 people are still waiting for tickets with only two weeks until the event begins.

Printing problems meant the deadline for mailing tickets was missed.

Tickets ordered for the Fringe, which takes place from 3 to 25 August, will now have to be collected in person.

Fringe director, Jon Morgan, said: "We are absolutely clear that the Fringe will run as planned and we would encourage everyone to continue buying tickets for shows.

"We are focused on delivering an excellent festival for artists, venues, audiences and all other stakeholders.

"The Fringe is the largest and most successful arts festival in the world and our entire staff will work to ensure it remains that way."

Box office closure

He added: "Our current problems are highly regrettable and we apologise for the inconvenience it will cause to customers and partners.

"It will be challenging but by working with the 247 venues involved we will be able to ensure that ticketing services can be delivered for the Fringe."

He added that all bookings already made through the Fringe Box Office would be fulfilled and buyers currently expecting tickets would be contacted next week with information on ticket collections.

The Fringe Box Office will be closed on Sunday and Monday as staff try to resolve the problems.

Organisers said website sales would continue as normal.

Michael Barrymore
Michael Barrymore will feature in a show about comedian Spike Milligan

Steve Cardownie, from Edinburgh City Council, said: "Although the Fringe are experiencing some difficulties at the moment I am confident that they have everything under control.

"They are shrewd operators and I'm sure they are handling this well.

"Tickets can still be bought and all shows are going ahead as planned.

"The Fringe - and Edinburgh - are open for business ahead of this year's fantastic Festival season."

Controversial comic Michael Barrymore and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy will be among the stars of this year's Fringe.

Barrymore will feature in a show about another troubled comedian, Spike Milligan, while Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in the sci-fi series, has written a play about Vincent van Gogh.

It is thought the Fringe has a 75% market share of all attendance at Edinburgh's year-round festivals and annually generates about 75m for the Scottish economy.

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