The festival witnessed an unusually large attendance.
" Has been the scene" for “è stato teatro " translation comes much quicker in my mind the second time I run this sentence. Somehow “testimoniare” is sitting in the slot for " to witness”. ( Eh, my skinny vocabulary).
Ciao. I read this as “The festival was staged by an exceptionally large audience competition”.
Mind you, I don’t understand the “concorso di pubblico”.
“Was staged” - I agree. I only put “has been the scene” because I use Reverso almost all the time, and it gave me a ton of this particular translation. And, btw, I found “has witnessed” there as well. So, guys, never mind.
Boh, it’s fun to discuss;-)