Leader comment: Festivals' magic formula does it again

Today certain Edinburgh citizens will say 'isn't it good to have the place back to ourselves again?'

Ticket sales are up by four per cent on last year after the Edinburgh International Book Festival enjoyed its highest ever attendance.
Ticket sales are up by four per cent on last year after the Edinburgh International Book Festival enjoyed its highest ever attendance.

But such a “bah humbug” attitude has been drowned out with the news the Edinburgh International Festival has had its most successful year ever on its 70th anniversary. This is very encouraging, because it shows that, despite the political climate, terrorism fears, the economic situation and competition from other festivals, Edinburgh’s offering goes from strength to strength.

Across the festivals, ticket sales and attendances are up, with the city attracting a tremendous range of top-class performers and raw talent.

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It could be said the publicity around the 70th anniversary helped this year, as did the weak pound.

But you’re only as good as your last performance. Success can’t be taken for granted. There’s still big job to do at the box office.

Can this year’s figures be topped, at the slightly less significant 71st hosting next year? Don’t bet against it. There is no sign of the Edinburgh festivals ever losing their special attraction.