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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 considered best ever

It is all smiles at Car Hire Edinburgh Airport after the news that it has been the best ever Fringe Festival in the city.

The directors at key Edinburgh Fringe theatres have commented on this year’s extravaganza being the biggest and best ever, with several reporting record-breaking ticket sales.

Supporters have flocked to venues including the Assembly Rooms and The Stand Comedy Club, as box office takings surge ahead of last year and reach a new all-time high. Signs of a boom come despite fears that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a rapidly strengthening pound would divert visitors and make a trip to the Festival less affordable.

Tommy Sheppard, director of Salt n Sauce Promotions, which operates The Stand and the Assembly Rooms, said “We’re heading for another record year on the Fringe. On Saturday, we broke our total sales for last year so every ticket we sell from now on is an increase. Between The Stand and the Assembly Rooms, we did 181,000 ticket sales in 2013. We’re already past that and aiming for 200,000. I think we would certainly be at least ten per cent up on last year. What we need to do is look to the strengths of the Festival and play to them. The biggest thing that the Fringe and the Festival as a whole have going for them is longevity. We’ve had so many millions of people over the years who have had such a good experience here and that stands us in good stead.”

Cabbies are enjoying one of their busiest festival seasons ever, with anecdotal evidence suggesting 2014 could break records for the total number of taxi journeys. Edinburgh Taxi Association secretary Raymond Davidson added “It’s been very busy. Drivers are saying to me that they’ve been extremely busy this year, especially going into the last weekend and the bank holiday. We’re expecting an extremely busy weekend.  I think it’s been exceptional. The weather has been a big factor, it’s been lovely and warm most of the time. There’s not been any heavy rain.”

FESTIVAL revellers will have the chance to catch late-night trams home – just weeks after city chiefs ruled out breaching the 11pm cut-off. Tom Norris, director and general manager of Edinburgh Trams, said “This is a great opportunity for Edinburgh Trams to pilot longer running hours during a major event for the city and over what we hope will be very busy weekends. There are no plans to extend the timetable during normal operations but, in future, and if there is a business case, we may well want to offer a tram service longer into the night for certain events. We’ll keep this trial under close review to help gauge our approach to future events.”

Staff will work overtime to lay on the extra services, a spokesman for Transport for Edinburgh confirmed.