The first day of ticket sales to the general public for the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe has ended with the box office surpassing all previous records having sold tickets in excess of £275,000.

Tickets had been available online and by telephone from 10.00am on Monday 15 June, whilst the box office on the High Street opened to the public at midday. A queue was forming outside the distinctive High Street box office nearly four hours before it opened.

In a statement, Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Fringe Society said: "This has been a truly remarkable 'first day' for the Fringe box office. We have already sold a staggering 35,350 tickets, online, by telephone and in person. Our box office has been under unprecedented demand today, but thanks to the planning and preparation undertaken over the last 12 months, together with our system suppliers Red61, it has met the challenge and fulfilled the requests of fringe-goers.”

Martine Verheul, who was one of the first in line, picked up a whopping 190 tickets. For the three weeks that the fringe runs, her family become hosts for all their extended relatives and friends who descend on Edinburgh to experience the fun of the Fringe. She said: “We’ve spent a lot of time putting circles round boxes in the programme. We’ve actually had to make an excel spreadsheet out of it all. It takes some planning but we just can’t wait. We are massive fans.”

Charlotte Nichol joined the queue at 10.00 am. The 22-year-old said she was actually there to buy 60 tickets on behalf of her mother who was at work. She said: “This is the first day of my holidays and my mum forced me to come. She owes me a few favours now. I’ve got everything she wanted though. It’s been very easy and the whole process was really smooth so I’m pleased.”

By 4:00pm on Monday 15 June the Edinburgh Fringe had sold 35,350 tickets and taken £275,873 at the box office. The total value of the average purchase is £130 whilst the single biggest purchase was a transaction to the value of £998.65. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 7 to 31 August 2009.