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 Festival 2003
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The Edinburgh Festival 2003

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The Royal Mile
Fringe Passes One Million Mark
On the 26th of August, the Fringe confirmed its position as the most successful arts event in the world as organisers revealed that the festival had passed the 1 million ticket barrier for the very first time. Fringe 2003 has so far sold 1,184,738 tickets worth £9,386,003 - a 21% increase on 2002.

"This is an incredible milestone for us", said Paul Gudgin, Fringe Director "but the real credit must go to the spectacular group of artists who have put on one of our strongest programmes ever".

A well-received programme across the board, exceptionally good weather and a discernible increase in domestic tourism have all contributed to one of the greatest years in the Fringe's history. A number of new and well-established initiatives have also helped broaden the Fringe's appeal - such as the 2 for 1 ticket offer on the first two days of the Fringe which sold 28,657 tickets (a 28% increase on previous year) and a new and improved website selling 43% of all tickets. Over half of tickets sold went to Edinburgh people.

American successes
Awards at Fringe 2003 took on an American theme, with Demetri Martin scooping the Perrier Award for Comedy, The Riot Group's Pugilist Specialist winning the best of The Scotsman's Fringe Firsts, and 78th Street Theatre Lab winning The Stage's Best Ensemble Acting award. All three groups of performers hail from New York.
Of the 1541 shows available the fastest selling was a secret Johnny Vegas gig at the Stand Comedy Club that sold out in 18 minutes. The top-selling show was Ross Noble, closely followed by 12 Angry Men and Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure.

Concluding, Paul Gudgin said: "Smashing the million ticket mark heralds the start of a new era in the Fringe's history. Rather than look back, now's the time to realise the Fringe's future potential to attract and accommodate ever greater audiences, accelerate more performers' careers and continue to cement Edinburgh's reputation as the world's greatest festival city".