As the 66th Edinburgh
Festival Fringe enters its second week, we speak to Fringe
Chief Executive Kath Mainland...
What are this year's vital statistics?
The 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe features 42,096 performances
of 2,695 shows in 279 venues, making this the largest Fringe on
record. Companies are taking part from 47 different countries
and the Fringe sees around 22,457 performers come to Edinburgh to
join an audience of nearly 2 million.
What does this say about Edinburgh's international
reputation and appeal?
The fact that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has grown once again
is a great reminder that the Fringe remains the best place for
artists and performers to bring their work. For audiences, it is an
opportunity to come to Edinburgh and discover the massive range of
cultural experiences on offer and some of the most entertaining
performers in the world. The city of Edinburgh is an integral part
of the festival providing a stunning setting for the month of
August, and with venues right across the city, visitors get to see
every bit of this vibrant and exciting city really come to
How important are the festivals in attracting investment
to the city?
Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study published in 2011 highlighted
the enormous economic impact of the festivals, amounting to £262
million annually across Scotland, with the Fringe contributing £142
million in Edinburgh alone. Just as importantly, the festivals in
Edinburgh help to put the city in the international spotlight, with
a vast amount of media coverage both within the UK and around the
world, showcasing what a fantastic place the city is to visit and
the amazing cultural events that take place here every year.
How does the
Year of Creative Scotland make this Fringe extra
This year there is a huge focus on the incredible talent and
creative output of Scotland, and the Fringe is perfectly placed to
showcase this to the rest of the world. I am delighted with
in Scotland programme this year, showcasing 12 pieces of
Scottish theatre and dance across the Fringe supported through the
Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.
Which bit of this year's Fringe are you most looking
Of course, working for the Fringe
Society, I can’t recommend or single out any individual shows
as we have to remain impartial. But personally, I can’t wait to
discover that hidden gem. Every year there are new and exciting
shows that everyone is talking about, and lots of surprise hits
too, many of whom will go on to become household names. Being at
the Fringe genuinely gives you the opportunity to say you saw them