Edinburgh Fringe bosses have been in crisis talks with the 247 venues taking part in this year’s 62nd annual festival (See News, 5 Jun 2008). The festival officially begins on 4 August, but many of 2,088 shows on offer begin previewing from next week. However, due to problems with a new box office system installed on the Fringe website, www.edfringe.com, advance tickets have yet to be sent out.
At an emergency meeting held in Edinburgh on Friday, organisers explained that the slowness of the ticket printing had caused a massive backlog processing the 150,000 tickets already sold. Telephone and counter sales at the box office have been closed yesterday and today (Monday 21 July 2008) while staff try to resolve the problems. An FAQ has been posted on the Fringe website for those still awaiting or trying to purchase tickets. It reassures theatregoers that: “The Fringe will go ahead as planned and no shows have been cancelled because of ticketing difficulties.”
Meanwhile, on Whatsonstage.com, you can get a peek behind the scenes of the world’s largest arts festival at with our communal Festival Blog, which, over the coming weeks, will feature contributions from a variety of festival performers, directors, producers and other theatre practitioners and commentators. We’re just laying the groundwork now, but some contributors have already started blogging, not least Chris Grady, who runs the festival’s new musical venue, the George Square Theatre, and who was at the calmly fraught emergency box office meeting … click here to read Chris’ blog.