Seven out of the twelve gigs in Edinburgh International Festival's contemporary music strand sold out this year, with a total audience of 13,500.
It was a good year for the Leith Theatre which is emerging as a vital venue in Edinburgh's contemporary music scene in its second year after re-opening: nine of the Festival's twelve gigs were held at Leith, and five of those sold out.
The Edinburgh International Festival announced the box office numbers with the release of Jarvis Cocker's Festival performance of MUST I EVOLVE?, one of the tracks in his new project JARV IS.
Also at Leith Theatre was Swedish rebel icon of trip hop Neneh Cherry; poet, rapper, novelist and playwright Kate Tempest; the New Jersey singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten; and Danish indie rock group Efterklang, returning from a six-year hiatus with their only UK gig this year. Others included Teenage Fanclub, Villagers, Anna Calvi and This is the Kit.
Usher Hall and the Royal Lyceum Theatre housed artists from the You Are Here programme including Malian duo Amadou & Mariam paired with gospel music legends Blind Boys of Alabama; Edinburgh-based Shooglenifty playing Scottish traditional music with Rajasthani band Dhun Dhora and Galician trio Tanxugueiras; and Lebanese folk pioneer and Arabic music innovator Marcel Khalife was joined by his son Rami Khalife and percussionist Aymeric Westrich.
The International Festival introduced a contemporary music strand to its programme in 2015.
Fergus Linehan, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival said: “In our contemporary music programme this year we had artists from Beirut to Bamako, Stockholm to New Jersey and everything in between. We're proud to witness so many great artists from across the world filling sold out venues across Edinburgh.”
Lynn Morrison, Executive Director, Leith Theatre added: “It’s been an extraordinary International Festival programme at Leith Theatre this year, with so many highlights. It was quite emotional for me to see some of my favourite gigs of all time in a building that we are working so hard to regenerate. The amazing performances that have followed truly encapsulate all the reasons we need to save this incredible space for generations to come.”