Brighton Fringe saw an increase of a third in overall attendance last year, making it the largest event to date, new figures reveal.

The now biggest arts festival in the country also enjoyed a 23% increase in ticket sales, with some £1.5 million taken.

The figures, which have been published in the event’s annual review, report the Fringe’s first four-week stint as an “overwhelming success”.


However, director Julian Caddy warned they wouldn’t be resting on their laurels.

He added: “It was the biggest and best Fringe ever, we’re delighted.

“But we want to focus on making sure the Fringe is hugely successful for participants.

“It’s an open access event in which performers can show off their work. We want to make sure we have people from the industry here to see them.

“This will in turn attract more talent and provide a better event for the public.”

More than 270,000 visitors attended shows over the four weeks – an increase of 32% on 2012.

The Fringe also enjoyed success online, with more than double the visitors to its website and 7,000 new followers on Twitter taking the total to 16,000.

As well as the first four-week event, the Fringe saw a return of flagship venue the Spiegeltent as well as an appearance from the internationally renowned No Fit State Circus.

But while their presence boosted box office takings, it wasn’t the only factor.

Mr Caddy said: “Overall the strength of the programme was key. The Spiegeltent and No Fit State Circus stand out as significant but even without them the event grew by more than 10%.

“I think it is a festival which is maturing and getting better each year.”

With eight months to go before the start of next year’s event, the team are already busy planning.

The hard-working director has been travelling far and wide since early June to both promote and scout talent for next year. He said: “I’ve been to the National Arts Festival in South Africa, Avignon Festival in France, Buxton Festival and of course up to Edinburgh.”

This Sunday they will also battle it out for this year’s Contribution to Arts and Culture Argus Achievement Award.