The number of productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will break the 3,000 mark for the first time this August, with 3,193 shows in its 2014 programme.
The figure is an 11% increase on last year and ensures it keeps its place as the largest arts festival in the world. The overall rise means that while theatre makes up only 27.5% of all productions in the programme, the lowest percentage ever, the 877 theatre shows are 50 more than in 2013 and are still the largest number ever.
Comedy remains the largest genre on the fringe, increasing 15% on 2013 and breaking the thousand mark for the first time, with the 1103 shows representing 34% of all productions.
The number of venues has also increased, rising to 299. Besides increasing the ticketing capabilities of its apps and website, the fringe society has increased to 23 the number of individual venues where tickets for all fringe events can be purchased and printed out.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Kath M Mainland, the chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “This year the fringe includes 3,193 shows, which is a record number, but more importantly the programme offers the widest selection of international high-quality arts and entertainment that you will find in any one place at any one time.”
The fringe continues to attract a diverse range of performers. Returning this year are double winners of The Stage Awards, Theatre Ad Infinitum, with a new show called Light. High-profile performers include Diana Rigg, with No Turn Unstoned and Erasure’s Andy Bell in Torsten the Bareback Saint.
The Edinburgh Fringe officially runs from August 1 to 25.