Edinburgh sees small dip in ticket sales

Edinburgh sees small dip in ticket sales

<p>The 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival experienced a small dip in ticket sales, in the first year that new director Nick Barley has been in charge. <br /> <br />The festival, which ended on 30th August, sold 3% fewer tickets year on year&mdash;76% were sold, compared to an &ldquo;exceptional&rdquo; 79% sold last year.<br /> <br />The festival&rsquo;s organisers blamed the recession for lower ticket sales. Frances Sutton, the festival&#39;s press manager, said that 200,000 people came to the event, the same as last year, but they appeared to spend less.<br /><br />Barley said: &quot;I am delighted with the level of ticket sales, which demonstrates that despite the uncertainty in the economy, arts and culture continue to play a vital role in people&#39;s lives.&quot;<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/31/edinburgh-book-festival-dip-... Guardian</a> also reports that some authors pulled out of the event, including Philippa Gregory, who withdrew after she was not permitted to change her programmed event. She told the <em>Sunday Herald</em>: &ldquo;I have worked with many major festivals and have always been able to use the material I wanted to use and I had prepared. It seems a lot of events have been affected by cancellations and you have to wonder why.&quot;<br /><br /><a href="http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/leading-author-in-attack-on... Herald</a> reports that 11 events were cancelled before this year&rsquo;s opening, but 22 events are now listed as being affected, a figure higher than last year. However, events with A S Byatt and Peter Mandelson, and a tribute to Edwin Morgan were added at the last minute.<br /><br />Sutton said nearly all the cancellations were due to illness or travel problems; headliner Jos&eacute; Saramago died just after the programme was published.<br /> <br /><a href="../news/127153-literary-festivals-link-up-in-word-alliance.html">Edinburgh this week joined up with four other literary festivals to form The Word Alliance.</a></p>