posted on 5:35 PM, August 24, 2009
Edmonton (AB) - The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival sold 92,279 tickets over 11 days this year, breaking its previous attendance record, organizers announced Monday.
"This has been the record Fringe," Julian Mayne, the festival's executive director, said Sunday. "We've had record attendance on site and it's just been perfect. The weather — everything came together."
Attendance for the 2009 Fringe easily surpassed the 77,000 tickets sold for shows in 2008. An estimated 550,000 people visited the the Fringe site in Old Strathcona, Mayne said.
In recent years, Edmonton has had strong competition from the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Last month, the Winnipeg Fringe set a North American attendance record, selling 81,565 tickets over 12 days.
But this year's ticket sales mean that Edmonton organizers can still call their event the most well-attended Fringe theatre festival in North American, second in the world only to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.à
"Pretty exciting and again, puts this festival certainly second in the world and certainly first in North America for Fringe festivals," Mayne said.
The 11-day festival ran from Aug. 13 until Sunday and featured more than 150 shows with performers from all over the world.
While Mayne said the quality of the shows was a big attraction, he also believes the Fringe benefited from people deciding to spend their vacations at home this summer.