Standing ovation for venues following record-breaking year
It has been a record-breaking year for Edinburgh’s theatres with venues breaking footfall and income targets across the city.
Annual reports to the City of Edinburgh Council from some of Edinburgh’s key cultural venues were hailed by Councillors at a meeting of the Culture & Sport Committee this week (Tuesday 23 August).
The Festival City Theatres Trust, which operates Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre and Studios and the King’s Theatre, welcomed 423,735 people through its doors reaching business goals a year ahead of target.
The Usher Hall has reported another successful year with a growth in audiences for the Hall’s own international season, a growth in rock and pop shows and a bumper income of £4m putting the concert hall ahead of target. The venue has once again maintained its 5-star Visit Scotland rating.
The Assembly Rooms, currently home to the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival, has also experienced a growth in footfall (2%) and income (7%).
Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Culture Convener, said: “These figures are hugely encouraging for the city’s cultural development and the ongoing success of our arts theatre venues. The quality of the offering at the Usher Hall, Festival Theatre and King’s Theatre is second to none and following its refurbishment in 2012, the Assembly Rooms has reported another packed year of events. Investment has been made in many of the city’s key venues in recent years but we know there are still great challenges ahead. As footfall increases and these historic buildings age, we must continue to strive towards future investment in our cultural venues.”
“Edinburgh is a hive of activity at this time of year and one of the best cities in the world to sample live theatre and concerts. These annual results are a reminder that Edinburgh’s cultural success story goes beyond that of the festivals with audiences and producers attracted to the city’s fantastic venues all year round. The vast majority (69%) of visitors to the King’s and Festival Theatres over the last year were local people and audiences are growing.”
Karl Chapman, Cultural Venues Manager at the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “Our venues are at their best when they have great artists and performances on the stage and when they have staff and services focused on giving customers a great experience. I think these figures illustrate a thriving cultural scene across our major venues both in terms of attendances as well as participation in our education and community programmes.”
Duncan Hendry, Chief Executive of Festival City Theatres Trust, said: “I’m delighted to report that our venues are in good health. More people are coming to the Festival and King’s Theatres than in previous years to enjoy an exciting and eclectic programme, which has seen the Trust present more performances than we have ever done before.”