Karen Koren: Festival’s bigger and even better

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The Fringe launched their brochure at the end of last week and announced that this year is the biggest ever. The Fringe has doubled in size every decade since its inception in 1947.

There are to be 250 street performances each day of the festival and 50,459 performances of 3314 shows from 49 countries in 313 venues during August.

Kath Mainland, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (pictured), said: “Every year we think we know what it’s going to deliver, but every year it surprises, delights, amazes and inspires. The Fringe is a festival like no other.”

It is when I hear what Kath has to say that I feel very proud to be a part of the Fringe.

Although tickets do go on sale earlier than ever, it is not until the Fringe has actually launched that we see a big upturn in ticket sales.

We had a massive increase this weekend, which was very encouraging.

The office is buzzing with staff being interviewed and production meetings held to organise ordering of equipment, seating, lighting sound. Everything has to be brought in to build theatres within the student union that becomes the Gilded Balloon in August. There is the press and marketing team constantly on the phone trying to get shows written about or advertising in publications.

We also had comedians on at the Festival Theatre Studio on Saturday night and Jimmy McGhie was the headline act. His cheeky allure and stage presence combined with a solid, bubbly and hilarious set went down brilliantly.

Jimmy has played the Gilded Balloon many times, though he is performing at Pleasance this Festival. We have already arranged for him to perform at Late’n’Live, so that’s good.

The other performers were Andrea Hubert, very tall with great sarcastic gags, and Glasgow comics John Gavin and Scott Agnew. There will be another gig before the Festival on July 4, where the line-up will include Bec Hill, Susie McCabe and Raymond Mearns.