Fringe Festival finished matching 2011's ticket sales

August 12, 2012 - 11:35am
Riel Castro-zunti spends his last day busking at the Fringe Festival. Photo by Kelly Malone
Riel Castro-zunti spends his last day busking at the Fringe Festival. Photo by Kelly Malone

The streets and parking on Broadway returned to normal after the Saskatoon Fringe Festival finished its run on Saturday night.

Riel Castro-zunti did not want to stop playing especially since initially he was not sure he would busk for his ninth year at the festival.

"It is very important. This is kind of a part of me and a part of my summer," he said.

While entertaining passersby with different genres of violin, Castro-zunti said his only complaint was that too many buskers were confined to one street and could drown each other out.

"It kind of crams too much onto just one street," he said.

He said he also observed that the streets seemed slower this year.

Bike valet Coordinator Sharon Elder said it was slower for them too.

"The Fringe has been a little bit slow," she said.

For the free bike valet service that didn't mean that no bikes were parked.

"About 100 (bikes) everyday and the first saturday we were here we parked 257 (bikes)," Elder said.

Once the buskers came back she said there was some more foot-traffic.

"That made a huge difference adding to the atmosphere and the interest on the street," she said.

Uncle Mike Zimmer had a successful second year selling all natural products at the festival but thought that it seemed slower.

"Its different I guess... maybe not as busy as some past years," he said.

Festival Producer Robert Wyma said that it may appear slower because they split the festival into four distinct areas - music, food, crafts, and the international market.

"We've seen record crowds throughout the week and the opening weekend but as things taper down we focus on the theatre as what we try to finish up strong," he said.

They saw a 60 per cent increase in advanced ticket buying and overall ticket sales hit the record level the festival had last year.