Organisers ‘thrilled’ with festival turnout

Performers (from left) Larissa Lofley as Miss Lucy Drawers, Rich Manic as Captain Festus McBoyle,...
Performers (from left) Larissa Lofley as Miss Lucy Drawers, Rich Manic as Captain Festus McBoyle, and Gareth Price as Mr Ebenezer Strong prepare for their last Dunedin Fringe Festival performance of Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travellin’ Variety Show at the Playhouse Theatre yesterday. Photos: Linda Robertson
As the lights went down on the last of the Dunedin Fringe Festival events yesterday, organisers had a moment to take a deep breath and a celebratory sip of Champagne before turning to plans for the event’s 25th birthday next year.

Dunedin Fringe Festival co-director Kate Schrader was "thrilled" with the support this year’s festival received from the city.

About 8000 tickets were sold to events at the festival — over 1800 more than last year.

She believed the numbers who actually attended events might have been even higher, because some of them were free and information about how many had attended those shows was not yet available.

"That’s incredible. We’re thrilled.

"It just goes to show that people really want to get out and support our artists.

"They’re craving immersive experiences and original and exciting content."

The turnout had been "amazing" for the performing artists because all of the revenue from ticket sales went back to them, Ms Schrader said.

"So more tickets sold means more money going their way to support them in their continuing practice.

"We’re just thrilled to support that, because it helps to attract more great artists to the festival in the future."

While she believed the popularity of the festival had continued to rise since it began more than two decades ago, the Covid-19 years had made it hard to measure.

"They’ve thrown the statistics a little bit — but yes, this is a mammoth year for us.

"It’s a big increase on last year, which was already a big year in terms of numbers of artists, numbers in the audiences and numbers of participants.

"Long may that continue."

The Fringe team were already working towards next year’s festival, which would be the 25th anniversary of the event.

"We’re hoping to have a really big, amazing celebration.

"We want you to continue to support local artists.

"And look what happens when you do."