Fringe for Free 2023

We have plenty of free stuff to do at the Fringe, and it's all listed here. If you're interested in a particular category simply click on the colour-coded links below. Once a category has been opened, click on the left hand colour bar to close it.

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Events marked Family Friendly have been suggested by the entrant as generally suitable for family viewing. Events in the Children's Events category are specifically aimed at young people. In the event of purely Online events, click on the links within the event description.

Please note that details of performances, including times and dates, may be subject to Late Changes. Numbers in brackets refer to venue numbers (see map). How to make a Comment.

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BUXTON FRINGE LAUNCH PARTY - Underground Family Friendly
Join us for the official launch of the 2023 Buxton Festival Fringe at Underground's festival hub above The Old Clubhouse. Catch preview performances from across the Fringe, mingle with the stars and help us toast the 44th Buxton Fringe! No booking required - just come along.
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Map 4 Jul 8pm to 11:30pm Free Review
Further information: or 0208 144 0070 Comments

The glorious float in 2022 (credit: Dan Osborne)

FRINGE AT THE CARNIVAL - Buxton Festival Fringe & BIF Family Friendly
Buxton Fringe takes to the streets with its award-winning orange float plus assorted performers in partnership with Buxton International Festival. Thanks to Lomas Distribution and to the Well Dressing and Carnival team for organising this highlight in the town's calendar.
Around the Town 8 Jul 2pm to 4pm Free, Donations: Give generously to the Well Dressing Charities Comments

Fringe chair Stephen Walker opens proceedings at the Fringe Awards 2022 (credit: Gemma Ball)

FRINGE AWARDS 2023 - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Performers, Fringe Friends, Fringe committee members and reviewers are invited to our Fringe Awards ceremony. Enjoy a drink with us in relaxed, open-air surroundings with a little polytunnel shelter if needs be! We see this as a celebration of everyone who supports our beautiful festival.
Serpentine Community Garden (107) Map 23 Jul 5pm to 6:30pm Free
Further information: Open to groups stated and by invitation. Comments

Phil Malkin of Sudden Impulse (credit: Keith Savage)

FRINGE ON FRIDAY - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
New for 2023! Buxton Fringe performers offer free extracts from their shows. Please support them. It is a brilliant way to get a sneak preview of the many excellent performances on offer.
Pavilion Gardens – Bandstand (33a) Map 7 & 14 Jul 5pm to 6pm Free Comments

Crowds enjoy Fringe Sunday in 2022 (credit: Carole Garner)

FRINGE SUNDAY - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Join us for our traditional, family-friendly picnic and party in the park. Buy some Derbyshire ice cream and we'll provide the entertainment. Expect dance, music, singing, comedy, magic and more! Pick up a Fringe programme or become a Fringe Friend. Mingle with the stars at this free showcase event!
Pavilion Gardens – Bandstand (33a) Map 9 Jul 2pm to 4:30pm Free Gallery Comments

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Children's Events

Join us in Pavilion Gardens for a day of talking and creating fabulous creatures. They might be the butterflies and bumblebees that live in the Gardens already. They might be something truly alarming that you would love to find there! Materials provided: you just bring ideas and smiles.
Pavilion Gardens – Playground (33m) Map 16 Jul 11am to 3pm Free, Ages 3+ Review Comments

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Why is Donna Scott sometimes known as 'Badger'? It's not always black and white... Bristling with determination and jokes, some of which are rough as. BBC New Voices Final 10, Host of Apple Stand-up Top Ten podcast, Champagne Social Butterflies. 'Really, really funny' BBC Radio Derby (New Writing)
Baileys Bar and Restaurant (82) Map 15 Jul 9pm to 9:50pm Free, Donations: Pay what you want, suggested contribution £5-10 Review Comments

Join us to celebrate 20 years since our first Buxton Fringe production, with a live recording of our acclaimed podcast Three's Company's Adventure Department. Catch up on Series 1 at then come and join in the fun! Completely free - we just want your cheers and (hopefully unforced) laughter. (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Map 16 Jul 7:15pm to 8pm (Note! Late Change) Free Review
Further information: Guestlist: Or just turn up! More info Comments

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"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance"

BUXTON DAY OF DANCE 2023 - Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Family Friendly
A feast of traditional dancing from around the country. The streets of Buxton will be filled with the music, colour, passion, energy and humour that the Morris brings. Over 150 dancers and musicians from 16 different Morris sides hosted by Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris.
Around the Town 15 Jul 10:30am to 4:30pm Free Review Comments

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AMERICANA FOLK AND POP - Tony Maloney and the Lonely Ponies Family Friendly
Top local act Tony Maloney and the Lonely Ponies play a variety of covers. Tight harmonies and driving rhythms will get your feet tapping.
Dub Kitchen & Bar (118) Map 13 Jul 8:30pm to 9:30pm, 16 Jul 3pm to 4pm (Note! Cancellation: Thu 13 Jul 8:30pm) Free, Donations: Contributions welcome on the day Review
Further information: 07814 204475 Comments

Part of Buxton's year-round live music scene for over 20 years, Fringe regulars Club Acoustic introduce an evening of local musical talent. Enjoy a showcase of music from a selection of Club Acoustic’s regular performers. Get your Fringe off to a cracking start! Free entry, no tickets, be there!
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Map 5 Jul 8:30pm to 10:30pm Free Review Comments

Katy Allan (Credit: Kirsty Prince Photography)

A concert for those living with dementia and their families/carers, hosted by singing and dementia specialist Katy Allan as part of the Festival Fringe 2023. You can expect a warm welcome with tea, coffee and cake at this informal café style concert, with music ranging from the Thirties to Seventies.
Buxton Methodist Church – Church Hall (06b) Map 11 Jul 11am to 12:30pm Free, Donations: Contributions towards running costs gratefully received Review Gallery
Further information: No booking required, just drop in! Comments

Award-winning ensemble Partita play Renaissance and Baroque music for voice and instruments.
Buxton Methodist Church – Church (06a) Map 19 Jul 1pm to 2:20pm Free, Donations: Charity collection Review Comments(2)

Buxton Fringe 2022

SIMPLY A CAPPELLA - Ordsall A Cappella Singers Family Friendly
Join us for an hour of a cappella singing, with a repertoire that ranges from classical to classic rock, upbeat pop and lullabies, traditional and newly composed pieces. .
United Reformed Church – Purple Room: Church (55a) Map 22 Jul 10:45am to 11:45am. St Mary's Church (41) Map 22 Jul 3pm to 4pm Free, Donations: Suggested contribution £5 Review Gallery
Further information: Comments

SUMMER BEANO - FEATURING NOJOKE - Serpentine Community Garden Family Friendly
Afternoon of live music in the Community Garden. Come down from 1.30pm for one of our signature mocktails. Music strikes up from 2.30pm to 3.45pm. Stay on to relax, look around and prepare for the Fringe Awards ceremony.
Serpentine Community Garden (107) Map 23 Jul 1:30pm to 4pm Free, Donations: Contributions welcome on the day Review Gallery
Further information: Comments

ZERENE - LIVE COVERS - Zerene Family Friendly
Zerene are a singer/guitar duo performing covers of indie, alternative and pop songs by the likes of Nirvana, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, the Stone Roses and many more.
(43) Map 7 Jul 1pm to 3pm. Buxton Brewery Tap House (23a) Map 15 Jul 9pm to 11pm (Note! Cancellations: Fri 07 Jul 1pm, Sat 15 Jul 9pm) Free Comments

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Spoken Word

MEET THE EXPERTS - LUNCHTIME TALKS - Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Drop-in for free lunchtime talks by museum and heritage specialists from Derbyshire and beyond. Pick up a programme at the Fringe Information Desk or on our Facebook page or see
Buxton Methodist Church – Upstairs Room (06d) Map 11-14 Jul 1pm to 2pm (Note! Cancellation: Tue 11 Jul 1pm) Free, Donations: Contributions welcome Review Comments(2)

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Street Theatre

credit: Mister Hope

OLD HAUNTS BY TOM CRAWSHAW & ALICE DE CENT - Buxton Our Street Family Friendly
Matt's passion is Buxton's past, Claire's distracted by ghostly goings-on. Join our daft duo for historical hilarity, and silly side-quests. Begin your self-guided audio adventure outside the Pump Room with just a smartphone and headphones. Follow the tour, or get side-tracked by an apparition on a mission - it's your choice! (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Map 5-23 Jul all day Free, Ages 10+ Review
Further information: Visit and head to the Pump Room to start. More info Comments

THE SHAKESPEARE JUKEBOX - Buxton Drama League Family Friendly
The multi-award-winning Jukebox team brings you its playlist of popular scenes and speeches from the Bard's work, raising money for a local charity. Simply select the piece you want to see and enjoy theatrical fun for all the family in the open air, as well as surprising online scenes:
Pavilion Gardens – Promenade (33q) Map 9, 14, 15 & 21, 22 Jul 6:15pm to 7pm Free, Donations: Review Comments

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BESIDE MYSELF - On The Spot Theatre Company, Chicago, IL USA Family Friendly
Douglas' dreams have left him feeling there is more to himself. Does he have a doppelganger? A biographer of anonymous souls, he confronts his unsupportive family. Find out what happens when Douglas tries to make himself whole in the world premiere of Mike Brayndick’s comedy performed by this Chicago-based company. (New Writing)
Online: 5-23 Jul all day Free, Ages 10+ Review
Further information: Comments

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Visual Arts

Inside The Green Man Gallery

ADVENTURES IN ART - The Green Man Resident Artists Family Friendly
The Green Man Gallery’s Resident Artists embark on an excursion into the realms of their collective discomfort zones. Familiar work processes are cast aside as each member dares to explore a path less trodden. Their experimental meandering sees them negotiate the minefields of taste, criticism and risk. Expect the unexpected!
Green Man Gallery (86) Map 5 Jul 5:30pm to 7pm, 6-23 Jul 10:30am to 5:30pm Free Review
Further information: the Gallery, 01298 937375 or Comments

Festival Folks.  Joanna Allen

ART AT THE CRESCENT - Peak District Artisans Family Friendly
Showcasing an exciting exhibition of contemporary artwork from some of the best professional artists and makers in the Peak District. An opportunity to meet the artists and purchase something totally unique, this diverse exhibition features paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery, photography and textiles.
The Crescent - Assembly Rooms (59a) Map 6-8 Jul 10am to 5pm Free Review Gallery Comments

ART IN THE OCTAGON - High Peak Artists Family Friendly
An art extravaganza returns to the Fringe! Nominated for Buxton Fringe Visual Arts Event. Over 30 exhibition stands. Meet award-winning artists and makers from the High Peak Artists group. Watch their demonstrations in oils, pastels, watercolours, urban sketching, silk painting, wood carving, photography, printmaking, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and lots more.
Pavilion Gardens – Octagon (33d) Map 10 Jul 1pm to 5pm, 11, 12 Jul 10am to 5pm Free Review Comments

BUXTON FLOWERPOT TRAIL - Funny Wonders Family Friendly
Head to where you see the dots; can you find the flowerpots? Family fun around Buxton. Trail maps available from the Pump Room, Poole’s Cavern and The Green Man Gallery. Cost £1. Or download a copy for free from Donations welcome. #BuxtonFlowerpotTrail
Around the Town 5-23 Jul all day Free Review
Further information: Comments

COLOUR MEMORIES - THE PEAK DISTRICT - Susan McCall/Buxton Museum and Art Gallery Family Friendly
Colour Memories is inspired by the physical experience of being in the landscape - the scent of bluebells, heather, hawthorn, bracken and earth, the colours: blues and greens, pink and whites, gold and reds, and the sounds of bees, grouse, curlews and skylarks.
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (07) Map 5-8 Jul 10am to 5pm, 9 Jul noon to 4pm, 11-15 Jul 10am to 5pm, 16 Jul noon to 4pm, 18-22 Jul 10am to 5pm, 23 Jul noon to 4pm (Note! Late Change) Free, Donations: Contributions welcome

2022 Winner - Dark and White Peak by Cath Dunn

DERBYSHIRE OPEN EXHIBITION - Buxton Museum and Art Gallery Family Friendly
Since 1982 the Derbyshire Open Art Competition has attracted artists of all ages, competing for a range of prizes and and the chance to have a work in the museum collection. Now in its 39th year, the resulting exhibition is the highlight of the summer programme.
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (07) Map 5-8 Jul 10am to 5pm, 9 Jul noon to 4pm, 11-15 Jul 10am to 5pm, 16 Jul noon to 4pm, 18-22 Jul 10am to 5pm, 23 Jul noon to 4pm (Note! Late Change) Free, Donations: Contributions welcome

The Book Of Knowledge is an encyclopaedia with thousands of illustrations. Editions were published by Waverley in 1950 and Grolier in 2000. I have cut out all the pictures, with some residual text, rearranged and photographed them. There will be a slideshow with an unknown soundtrack.
The Bungalow, Lightwood Ave, Buxton SK17 7AZ (98) Map 14-23 Jul noon to 6pm Free Review Gallery Comments

stitch artist-Tracey Coverley

STITCHED UP! - Tracey Coverley Family Friendly
A solo exhibition of recent works by Tracey Coverley, stitch artist, situated in the midst of the spectacular Pavilion Gardens. Relax with a coffee surrounded by textile portraits created using a combination of freehand machine stitching and reverse appliqué. Must be seen in the flesh!
Pavilion Gardens – The Art Cafe (33f) Map 5-23 Jul 9:30am to 5pm Free Review Gallery Comments(1)

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And More...

BUXTON PRIDE PICNIC 2023 - Stone and Water
Buxton’s celebration of our LGBTQ+ community is back for another afternoon of fun, games and frivolity on the lawns of the Gardens. We are never sure but there may be cakes, fantastic hats, decorated doggies. We do know there will be laughter and good company! Bring your own picnic!
Pavilion Gardens – Swimming Pool Lawns (33n) Map 23 Jul 1pm to 4:30pm Free Comments

CHELMORTON FESTIVAL - United Chelmorton Charities Family Friendly
Week of events including history exhibition and trail, scarecrows and quiz night. Also featuring Saturday market, refreshments, Sunday cream teas, dog show and Ceilidh. Plus a nature activity and trail.
Chelmorton Church, Chelmorton SK17 9SN (80) Map 17-22 Jul 10:30am to 4:30pm Free Review
Further information: Comments

The author and the book

Julian Cohen, author of a book about the history of 62 past and present Buxton pubs, will be in conversation with Simon Fussell of Buxton Civic Association. Expect weird yet true facts, happy and sad stories, colourful characters, the serious and the amusing, and join in the fun.
Buxton Brewery Tap House (23a) Map 11 Jul 4pm to 5:15pm, 18 Jul 6pm to 7:15pm Free, Strong language a possibility, Ages 16+ Review Gallery
Further information: Comments

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