ORGANISERS of the curtain-raiser to Edinburgh’s summer festivals season have revealed their best ever box office return - three years after deciding to shift the event in the calendar.
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, which dates back to 1978, moved clear of the Fringe in 2011 to avoid competing for audiences and to be able to use more venues across the city.
Official box office returns were up 40 per cent on last year’s event, which was the most successful in the history of the festival, with takings topping £500,000 for the first time.
Around 31,000 people attended more than 140 ticketed concerts while a further 30,000 flocked to the two major free events the festival organisers - a Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket and a carnival on Princes Street.
Festival producer Fiona Alexander said: “We are very pleased about the record success of the festival this year, and it has set the benchmark for us.
“The 2014 programme presented several exciting Edinburgh debut performances and world premiere collaborations.
“It has been very well received by audiences and critics, and the artists were thrilled with the famously warm welcome of our Scottish audiences.”