Organisers hope on the door ticket sales throughout the festival can take this year beyond that figure.
The programme for the 63rd Edinburgh Festival Fringe features almost 19,000 performers, with shows from 60 countries including comedy, music, theatre, musicals, opera and dance.
It runs from 7-31 August and includes famous names such as Clive James, Julian Clary, Christopher Biggins and cricketing legend Henry Blofeld.
Fringe acts 2009
Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh City Council festivals champion, said: "Year on year people predict the Fringe has peaked, but this is the evidence that it's not the case.
"And given the past problems with the ticket system last year, to have bounced back in such a fashion lays testament to the resilience to what is the world's biggest arts extravaganza.
"Everyone keeps saying the Fringe will go in a downward spiral so this trend is fantastic news for the city.
"There is evidence that more people are staying in the UK for their holidays and there is no better place than Edinburgh in August, no other city can compete."
Neil MacKinnon, Edinburgh Fringe Society's head of external affairs, said: "All the indications in terms of ticket sales and numbers look very positive and we are cautiously optimistic that this years Fringe will be one of the best and one of the biggest."
Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade, which runs on Sunday, is being moved to Holyrood Park to avoid tram works in the city centre.
The capital's annual parade is being amalgamated with Fringe Sunday, in a one-off temporary move.
Traditionally the parade travelled through Princes Street.
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