Fringe sales up despite the Olympics

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THE glamour of the Olympics has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of those planning to attend the Fringe.

Advance ticket sales for some venues at the festival, which launches tomorrow, are 70 per cent up on this time last year.

The move by some promoters at major venues to offer tickets for sale as early as January, aware of the clash with the games, looks to have paid off.

The Pleasance, Gilded Balloon and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) are among the festival venues which have reported a high volumes of sales.

In 2008 – the last time the Fringe and the Olympics clashed – there was a 10 per cent slump in ticket sales.

Sam Gough, event manager at the EICC, said: “We’re well ahead of all our targets and are actually 70 per cent ahead of where we were this time last year.

“It has definitely benefited us having shows on sale so early and a lot of our acts are appearing here as part national tours which has also helped.”

But those simply wishing to immerse themselves totally in the Fringe will not have it all their own way.

Some promoters, aware that the games is still a big draw, plan to have television screens at the venues in order to allow festival-goers to catch up with the latest Olympics news.