The event went ahead as planned and appeared to
be enjoyed by those who attended (including me). There were at least
But only about 50,000 visitors attended over the
four days; less than half the 125,000 expected.
The low attendance was
blamed by many on the 'high' entrance charge of £15 per day or £36 per day
for a family ticket. Many objected to paying these prices,
having been allowed free entry to view the Tall Ships Race at the same
venue in 1995.
The organisers defended the ticket prices and
blamed the low attendance on:
- Poor weather on the first day.
- The War in Iraq
- Celtic' defeat in the UEFA Cup
Final in Seville
- Good viewing (free
of charge) from Ocean Terminal.
Edinburgh City Council commented that poor
publicity had contributed to low attendances.
The organizers intend to return to Portsmouth for
next year's Festival.