Attendance at this year’s Brighton Fringe was up 14.5% on 2011’s total, the final sales figures have revealed.
Organisers are celebrating what they are dubbing a “knockout year” with total ticket revenue and number of events also at an all time high.
Throughout May visitors enjoyed 743 individual events – including 171 free ones – and 3,622 performances at 192 locations across the city.
Punters packed into venues as diverse as the American Express Community Stadium for Fatboy Slim’s Big Beach Bootique to The Warren pop up venue in Russell Place.
More than 206,000 attended shows, including 45,000 people visiting the free outdoor FringeCity events.
Nearly £1.2 million was spent on 135,000 tickets, up from just over £1 million last year.
Fringe managing director Julian Caddy said: “Brighton Fringe is not just big. It’s vast. “Just to put things into context, it would take you five months, watching 24 hours a day, to see every performance. You can only ever hope to see a fraction of what’s on offer.
“But it’s there to be discovered, and everyone’s Brighton Fringe journey, including my own, is a very personal one.”
Due to the continued success of the event, Julian and his team have decided to extend the three-week Fringe by an extra seven days – to take in the school half-term.
He added: “The idea actually came from a rather personal experience. I’m a father of three and when I came with my kids in half-term there was the Science Festival on, but not a great deal else.
“I think that this is only the very beginning for the Fringe and we will continue to get bigger and bigger.”
One of the event’s main objectives is to promote local talent and the arts. And this year’s performances have led to a number of bookings around the country from the Edinburgh Fringe to Bestival on the Isle of Wight.
The 2012 event was recognised for the quality of performances by picking up 11 Argus Angel Awards and winning 13 out of the 16 Latest Festival Awards.
The dates for 2013’s Fringe are May 4 to June 2.