Edinburgh Fringe Breaks Boxoffice Records

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The world’s biggest and most popular arts festival continues to go from strength to strength, selling over £10 million worth of tickets in 2004. Online sales accounted for 43% of Fringe Boxoffice ticket sales, rising 98% on 2003’s figures. The Fringe website, designed and built by Edinburgh agency lightershade, won the Scottish Thistle Award for IT Innovation in 2003, exponentially raising the online presence, but this year the site has outperformed all expectations and is one of the most visited websites in Scotland.

edfringe.com was completely remodeled for 2004, with navigation & search functionality streamlined as a result of usability testing to help users quickly find relevant information and book tickets quickly and efficiently. Some 62% of Fringe tickets sold on the first day of sales were through the website. This accounted for some 10,800 tickets sold online alone in the first day of availability! Over £1 million pounds worth of tickets were sold online before a board had even been walked, before a heckler had even been shot down in flames. Phenomenal figures and unheard of worldwide for a website of this genre.

The statistics for edfringe.com in August 2004 were impressive. Unique visitors to the site rose some 72% on 2003 to over 135,000 and page impressions rose more than 78% to over 5 million in August – resulting in a huge 98% increase in online ticket sales. The figures show that more users came than ever, that those who came stayed longer (the site’s ‘stickiness’) and ultimately bought more show tickets. Such numbers and sales make the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website the most prolific site of its type in the world.

Louise Page, Marketing Manager of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe said: “We are delighted at the rise of the web as an essential sales and information tool. We have worked extremely hard to give Fringe goers an easy-to-use, efficient and functional website so it’s great to see such tremendous online sales and activity figures.”

This was supported by comments from Douglas Shirlaw, Account Manager at lightershade:

“We are excited that the website is proving such a popular and efficient way of finding information and buying tickets and amazed at the stream of sales we saw when the ticket sales went live and throughout July and August. We were delighted that the Fringe site was recognized by the Scottish tourism industry in 2003 but 2004 has proved even more successful. The website has become integral to the success of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we are very proud of lightershade’s role in this success.”

According to the Guinness Book of Records the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s biggest arts festival and now it has the world’s biggest and most successful online booking system for an arts event fueling it. If past experience is anything to go by 2005 should be another record breaking year for edfringe.com

For additional information, contact Nick Cole at lightershade or visit edfringe.com

Lightershade is an Edinburgh based next-generation web development agency. Born as the web development arm of Lumison, Scotland’s leading business Internet Service Provider, they have been involved in some of Scotland’s most innovative web projects. Lightershade seek to straddle the divide between high quality design output, and implementations of the latest web technologies.

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Nick Cole
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