Record figures

Festival ends on a high as ticket sales rise

Circus performer Kwabana Lindsay in Meadow Walk (Photo by Terry Murden)
Circus performer Kwabana Lindsay in Meadow Walk (Photo by Terry Murden)

‘Three incredible weeks’

Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe head into their 70th year on a high.

The International Festival sold more than £4 million worth of tickets for the first time. Audiences to the EIF are estimated to be more than 440,000. Overall audiences are 12% up on last year.

More than 2,400 artists from 36 nations helped register a record year for classical music ticket sales.

About 27,000 attended the opening event: Deep Time, which saw Edinburgh Castle transformed by digitally animated projections inspired by the city’s past, created by 59 Productions.

Fergus Linehan, director of the EIF, said: “At the end of three incredible weeks, 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.

Fergus Linehan: Photo by Terry Murden
Fergus Linehan: Photo by Terry Murden

“The International Festival has always been a place for people of all nationalities to meet and exchange ideas and we’ve seen that everywhere across the city these past three weeks.

“In uncertain times, events like this feel ever more important, and we at the International Festival are honoured to have been able to host, inspire, entertain and moreover welcome so many artists and visitors from all over the world to our city”.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced that by Monday afternoon, with hundreds of performances still to take place, an estimated 2,475,143 Fringe tickets had been sold, 7.7% more than last year.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Fringe Society, said: “With 48 countries represented in this year’s programme, the breadth and diversity of talent on offer has been astounding.

“We are now looking forward to our 70th anniversary celebrations in 2017 and hope that as many people as possible will join us to mark this fantastic milestone in the history of Edinburgh’s festivals.”

Sir Tim O’Shea, Fringe Society chairman, added: “The Fringe would not be possible without the courage, creativity and sheer hard work of the festival’s participants, and for that we are very grateful.”

Fiona Hyslop, Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said: “Every year the Fringe evolves, providing new opportunities for Scottish, UK and international artists to take the next step in their careers.

“The Fringe, which benefitted from £560,000 of Scottish Government Expo funding, demonstrates the very best of what Scotland has to offer, giving visitors from around the world truly unique experiences, against the spectacular backdrop that Edinburgh provides.”


This year saw the launch of a mobile app, developed in partnership with Glasgow-based, BAFTA-award winning digital design and development company, Screenmedia.

The Fringe Society also unveiled a new strategic partnership with Skyscanner.

Fringe Central, the Society’s centre for performing companies, venues, media and arts industry professionals attending the Fringe, delivered its largest ever programme of professional development events for Fringe participants.

2016 Fringe Award Winners

Allen Wright Award
Winner: Rebecca Monks
Special Commendation: Ben Williams
Special Commendation: Alice Saville

Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award
Winner: Glasgow Girls –  Pachamama Productions, National Theatre of Scotland and Regular Music (Assembly)

Amused Moose Comedy Award
Winner: Larry Dean: Farcissist – Chambers Touring Ltd (Pleasance)

The Asian Arts Awards
Best Production:
Snap – Gruejarm Production – Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd (Assembly)

Best Director:
4D Cinema – Mamoru Iriguchi (Summerhall)

Best Comedy:
Chef: Come Dine With Us! – Persona Inc – Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd (Assembly)

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence in association with Komedia Brighton
Winner: We are Ian – In Bed With My Brother/the Pleasance (Pleasance)

The Broadway Baby Bobby Award
Ten Storey Love Song – Middle Child (Pleasance)
The Interference – Pepperdine University (USA) (C venues)

Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award
Winner: Life According to Saki – Atticist (C venues)

Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe
Winner: Masai Graham – Aaaaah! It’s 101 Clean Jokes in 30 Minutes – Free Show – Masai Graham (Laughing Horse)

Edinburgh Comedy Poster Awards
Panel Prize: Lou Sanders: What’s That Lady Doing? – Berk’s Nest and the Pleasance (Pleasance)
Audience Award: Desiree Burch: This is Evolution – Desiree Burch / Heroes (PWYW) (Heroes)

Euan’s Guide Accessible Edinburgh Festival Awards
Spirit of Inclusion Winner: Fringe Central@Infirmary Street
Small Venue Winner: Grassmarket Community Project
Highly Commended: Dance Base

2016 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award
Winner: Are We Stronger Than Winston? –VOU Fiji Dance (Greenside)

Holden Street Theatres Award
Scorch – Prime Cut Productions (Summerhall)
Angel by Henry Naylor – Pipeline Productions (Gilded Balloon)

Richard Gadd: emotional (photo by Terry Murden)
Richard Gadd: photo by Terry Murden

The Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Best Comedy Show: Richard Gadd: Monkey See Monkey Do – Berk’s Nest/Soho Theatre/PBH’s Free Fringe/United Agents (Banshee Labyrinth)
Best Newcomer: Scott Gibson: Life After Death – Dead Sheep Comedy/Gilded Balloon – (Gilded Balloon)
Panel Prize: Iraq Out & Loud: Reading the Chilcot Report in Full – Omid Djalili, Bob Slayer, Performers, Writers and You! (Heroes)

The Malcom Hardee Awards
Prize for Comic Originality: Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel – Paul Vickers (Sweet Venues)
Cunning Stunt Award: Molotov Cocktail Party – Becky Fury / PBH’s Free Fringe (Sabor)
Most Likely To Make A Million Quid: Come Look at the Baby – Thorium Theatre (Just The Tonic)

The Scottish Arts Club Award for Best Scottish Play
Winner: Expensive Shit – Adura Onashile, Scottish Theatre Producers in association with Traverse Theatre (Traverse Theatre)

The Scotsman Fringe First Awards
Winners – week one
Angel by Henry Naylor – Pipeline Productions (Gilded Balloon)
Counting Sheep – Lemon Bucket Orkestra in association with Aurora Nova (Summerhall)
Expensive Shit – Adura Onashile, Scottish Theatre Producers in association with Traverse Theatre (Traverse Theatre)
Heads Up – Kieran Hurley with Show And Tell (Summerhall)
The Interference – Pepperdine University (USA) (C venues)
World Without Us – Ontroerend Goed, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Vooruit, Richard Jordan Productions, Summerhall (Summerhall)

Winners – week two
Daffodils (A Play With Songs) – Bullet Heart Club (Traverse Theatre)
Fabric – Robin Rayner, TREMers & The Marlowe Theatre (Underbelly)
Faslane – Jenna Watt in association with Showroom and Contact (Summerhall)
Mark Thomas: The Red Shed – Lakin McCarthy in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse (Traverse Theatre)
Tank – Breach (Pleasance)
Two Man Show – RashDash (Summerhall)
Us / Them – BRONKS, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, Theatre Royal Plymouth (Summerhall)

Winners – week three
One Hundred Homes –Yinka Kuitenbrouwer, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, Theatre Royal Plymouth (Summerhall)
Letters to Windsor House – Sh!t Theatre with Show and Tell (Summerhall)
JOAN –Milk Presents, in association with Derby Theatre and Underbelly Untapped – (Underbelly)
Growth – Paines Plough (Summerhall)
The Duke –Hoipolloi, PBJ Management, Theatre Royal Plymouth with Save The Children –(Pleasance)
Scorch – Prime Cut Productions – Roundabout @ Summerhall

Primary Times Children’s Choice Award
Winner: Children are Stinky – Circus Trick Tease (Assembly)

So You Think You’re Funny?
Winner: Heidi Regan
2nd place: Ruth Hunter
3rd place: Danielle Walker

The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence
Winners –week one
Kill the Beast – Kill the Beast: Don’t Wake the Damp – Kill the Beast (Pleasance)
Liam Brennan – Diary of a Madman – Gate Theatre, Notting Hill (Traverse Theatre)

Winners – week two
Charlotte Josephine – Blush – Snuff Box Theatre in association with Underbelly Untapped (Underbelly)
Penelope McDonald and Emma Romy-Jones – Care Takers – Truant Company (C venues)

Winners –week three
Lucy Jane Parkinson – JOAN – Milk Presents, in association with Derby Theatre and Underbelly Untapped (Underbelly)
Nancy Sullivan – Fabric – Robin Rayner, TREMers & The Marlowe Theatre (Underbelly)
One Year Lease – Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally – One Year Lease Theater Company (Pleasance)

The Stage Special Award
Winner: Mark Thomas – Mark Thomas: The Red Shed – Lakin McCarthy in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse (Traverse Theatre)

Total Theatre Awards
Emerging Company/Artist Winners:
(I Could Go On Singing) Over The Rainbow – FK Alexander with Okishima Island Tourist Association (Summerhall)
One Hundred Homes – Yinka Kuitenbrouwer, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, Theatre Royal Plymouth (Summerhall)

Physical/Visual Theatre Winners:
Bildraum – Atelier Bildraum, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, Theatre Royal Plymouth (Summerhall)
Cock and Bull – Nic Green with Laura Bradshaw and Rosana Cade – Forest Fringe

Innovation/Experimentation & Playing with Form Winner:
Hot Brown Honey – Briefs Factory (Assembly)

Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance
Winner: Happy Hour – Mauro Paccagnella and Alessandro Bernardeschi (Summerhall)

Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus
Winner: Ockham’s Razor: Tipping Point – Turtle Key Arts (C venues)


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