Fringe By The Sea Brings £3.1m Boost & 2022 Dates Announced – Fringe by the Sea
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Fringe By The Sea Brings £3.1m Boost & 2022 Dates Announced



Already hailed as a cultural and community success, Fringe By The Sea can now reveal the festival brought £3,139,616 of economic benefit to East Lothian, according to an independent report by MKA Economics.  This represents a doubling (103% increase) over the 2019 figure (£1,546,609), and is driven by the increase in visitors to the event.

More than 39,000 people visited the festival, with 25,000 purchasing tickets to one of 200 events and an estimated 14,000 attending free events throughout the town across the ten days.   In 2019, visitors totalled 19,500.  Satisfaction was at an all-time high, with 95% rating the festival either excellent or very good and 86% said they would ‘definitely’ attend Fringe By The Sea in the future, giving confidence as planning for next year’s event (Friday 5th – Sunday 14th August) is already underway.

The draw of the festival in attracting people into the region and North Berwick on both day trips and overnight was significant, with nearly two thirds of visitors stating it was the only (34%) or a main reason (30%) for visiting the area.  The proportion of people coming to the festival and staying overnight in accommodation providers that weren’t friends/family also increased by 10%, driving revenue to accommodation providers as well as other businesses throughout the town.

The festival also helped raise nearly £2,500 for charitable causes Leuchie House, RNLI, Beach Wheelchairs, St Columba’s Hospice, and MND Scotland through events with Prov Johnstone Band, Dave Berry’s Walk The Toun, North Berwick Candles, Nicola Bourke Yoga and North Berwick’s Compassionate Community.

The first act for 2022, Candi Staton – a postponement from 2020 – is already confirmed for Friday 12th August.  We’ve many more exciting names in the pipeline and “Fans of the Fringe 2022” opens on Thursday 23rd September at, with some brilliant benefits for those supporting the festival:

  • The ‘Supporter’ fee is £250 per annum and benefits include priority booking (up to 6 tickets per event), 15% discount on tickets, VIP area access, food and drink vouchers and a FBTS t-shirt.
  • The ‘Friend’ fee is £30 per annum and this scheme includes priority booking (4 tickets per event), drink vouchers, and a FBTS t-shirt. (Both schemes will ensure that a printed programme is delivered directly to home address.)

Director of Fringe By The Sea, Rory Steel, says “Organising the festival this year was not without its challenges, risks and financial burdens, but this economic impact assessment report really is the cherry on top of the incredibly positive feedback we’ve been receiving over the past month.  When we set out to hold this summer’s event, our main aims were to gather the community together, bring smiles to faces and put some money through the tills of local businesses and in the pockets of freelance artists and production staff, all of which have been hit hard by the pandemic. The doubling of visitor numbers to Fringe by the Sea demonstrates that we successfully delivered on these aims.   I’m incredibly proud of the whole team in making this happen.”

“As a not-for-profit organisation, the role of sponsors and public bodies in funding the event is critical.  Despite the £3.1m economic benefit to East Lothian, it is always a challenge for the festival itself to make ends meet, particularly this year with the huge costs associated with covid-19 safety.  We are now planning for 2022, which will certainly be a challenge once again, but with the encouragement from so many, we’re determined to build on our success and stage another brilliant event next year.  Those not wishing to miss out on popular events should sign-up to Fans of the Fringe 2022 now, and watch this space for great acts soon to be announced.”



For further information, photography or interview, please contact:

Fiona Duff 07710 419762



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