Edmonton Festivals

August 26, 2018 6:12 pm
Updated: August 27, 2018 10:43 pm

Edmonton Fringe Festival breaks ticket sales record yet again

WATCH ABOVE: It's the last day of the 2018 Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival in Old Strathcona. Tonight, Todd James talks to artistic director Murray Utas about another wildly successful year.


It’s been another wildly successful year for the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in Old Strathcona.

During the 11-day festival, 133,276 tickets were been sold — that’s 3,000 more than last year’s total. There were 419 sold-out performances at this year’s festival, with a total of $1.46 million in box office revenue.

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“With so much left to go, we’ve surpassed where we were last year,” Artistic director Murray Utas said Sunday afternoon, with shows scheduled to run into the evening. “We have gone over the record already so that is fantastic news.

“It’s just a really positive thing to see. Year over year, the audience is really kicking in and getting into those shows.”

Utas said visits to the site were also up this year over last. And that’s despite the smoky, overcast weather that’s loomed over most of the festival.

“I thought, ‘Uh oh, it’s going to be trouble for our outdoor sites. It’s going to be trouble for people coming down.’ But man on man, my heart goes out to the fringers. They just persevere.”

Watch below: Despite the smoky and sometimes chilly weather, organizers say attendance was fantastic at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival this year. Margeaux Maron filed this report on Aug. 27, 2018.

An update Monday morning said the festival grounds received 817,000 visits — up 9,000 from 2017.

READ MORE: Edmonton Fringe Festival off to ‘amazing start’ despite B.C. wildfire smoke

Last year a record-setting 130,000 tickets were sold, bringing in nearly $1.2 million for the artists. Nearly 810,000 people took in the 11-day festival in 2017.

“There’s growth still happening within these shows and it just makes me so very happy that that’s the case,” Utas said.

READ MORE: Edmonton International Fringe Festival wraps up with record-setting ticket sales

Utas said the growth is happening in an interesting way, with existing venues running more shows rather than more venues popping up.

“Say a venue had five shows in it before, I saw some of them having 10 in there so some of them have doubled their size,” he explained. “So I think the appetite is there for that kind of growth and the audience obviously is there to support that.”

Tickets for this year’s holdovers — For Science!, Balls of Yarn, Flute Loops and White Face — are still available.

The festival has not yet been torn down, but already planning is underway for next year. Starting Monday, the community will be able to start submitting their ideas for next year’s Festival theme.

WATCH: As the 2018 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival wrapped up, Todd James spoke with Artistic director Murray Utas about breaking ticket sales records and what contributed to the success.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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