Tickets on sale now for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - photo by The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe organisers' spirits are still soaring, after the Olympic Games in London came to a close, with high hopes that the public's new focus will be on the current three weeks of comedy and theatre the Fringe has to offer.
Created in 1947 in attempt to liven up audiences after the depression of WWII swept through Europe and the UK, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is now the world’s largest arts and comedy festival, offering 22,457 performers over 2,695 shows showing 42,096 performances across 279 venues. Many of these performances pay homage to the games by taking inspiration from the event and adding Olympic references to their acts.
Fringe chief executive Kath Mainland is hoping the games will bring more people than ever to Edinburgh, as the two events overlapped in the final nine days of the Olympics.
The 2008 Olympics saw a drop in ticket sales for Fringe by 10% from the previous year but with sales starting as early as January for this year's event, things are looking positive.
Event manager at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Sam Gough, told The Scotsman
: 'We are well ahead of all our targets and are actually 70% 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.'
Despite advertisement space being filled with Olympic excitement, Fringe organisers have managed to obtain specific marketing for London to encourage visitors of the Olympics to consider heading to Scotland during their travels through the UK.
'It is really exciting the Olympics are in London and it is exciting they are happening at the same time as the world's greatest cultural event.' Kath Mainland told BBC News
This year the festival has expanded geographically as well, offering performances in Edinburgh’s counter city, Glasgow, for the first time. The use of venues and locations have also expanded providing opportunities for companies like regional British theatre company, Northern Stage, based in the north eastern city, Newcastle, which has taken over an empty church exclusively to show performances 'Made in the North of England' for the entire run of the festival.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from August 3 to August 27. For more information on the acts, playing times and ticketing information visit the Fringe festival website