UNTIL recently, one of the paradoxes of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was that you were almost as likely to bump into a visitor from Glasgow, Kentucky, as you were someone from our own Dear Green Place, with those from our biggest city giving the world's biggest arts event the cold shoulder.
All that changed, however, with the establishment in 2012 of a box office in Queen Street Station. And figures released yesterday show audiences from the west of Scotland have now been bitten by the Fringe bug, with ticket sales up by 38 per cent last year.
The Fringe, which officially launches its 2014 programme today, also experienced a major increase in the total number of customers from the "G", "ML" and "PA" postcodes. Tickets from those postcodes - denoting the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Paisley areas - rose by 14 per cent between 2012 and 2013.
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The ease with which one can now pick up tickets and hop on a train through to the capital has proved to be a winning formula, and First ScotRail is to be congratulated for its support.
Drama, music, comedy, convenience and common sense - that has to be a winning combination.