How to enter the Fringe

Online entry for 2024

Anyone can enter the Fringe. We do not select, we do not censor and nor do we selectively promote any work.

The Fringe does not programme events, it is up to you to arrange times with the venue of your choice. You enter via our online entry form.

Below is our 10-point plan. Follow it, in sequence, reading each step fully, and you will have a good time on the Fringe. You may even lose weight!
1. Decide on your show 6. Upload publicity photos
2. Decide on your venue 7. Plan your publicity campaign
3. Public Liability Insurance 8. Posters and fliers
4. Ticket Sales Service 9. Programme changes after final deadline
5. Complete the Online Entry 10. Accommodation

1 Decide on your show

We are excited to see what you come up with and are a friendly Fringe that welcomes new performers. If you are planning to perform a piece affected by copyright, it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary permission. Check out the Performing Rights website for more information on music copyright or Samuel French's website for play copyright.

2 Decide on your venue

It is up to you to find and book your venue. We have many venues on our list but it is not exhaustive or restrictive. Each year imaginative entrants come up with new places. You may still need permission from somewhere even if you are performing outside. Please check our Venues list for contact details for the major outside performance areas. The venues page is a dynamic one that is constantly being updated.

It is important to choose a venue suitable in size and character for your event. Remember, a small full venue feels much better for audience and performer alike than a big half empty one. Entrants must abide by fire regulations and never exceed the stated capacity of a given venue. The Venue Liaison can offer advice as necessary.

Most venues are a space that you rent and bring your own equipment to but a few are managed and may supply lights, sound, seating, front of house etc. These often operate on a takings share basis. If you would like to put on your event with managed venues, eg The Green Man Gallery or Underground Venues, it is essential that you contact them first to discuss arrangements regarding ticketing, box office split, deadlines and so on.

There are out of town venues in towns and villages outside Buxton. If you are using a managed venue please check that they are happy for you to be performing at another venue. 

Check your venue carefully - with a visit if possible. Make sure the venue and its manager can provide what you want and are helpful.

Be certain that you both know the financial arrangements and any special requirements re health and safety in particular.

Remember, the Fringe does not programme events - it is up to you to arrange your time slot with the venue of your choice. Please note the following timing considerations:

Buxton Carnival On Saturday July 13, the annual Buxton Carnival parades round the town from 2pm (Covid-permitting). Venues such as the Old Clubhouse and some Market Place venues may experience disruption from noise during the afternoon.

Awards Fringe Awards judging takes place on the last Sunday of the Fringe. If your only performance is on that last Sunday or later then unfortunately your event cannot be considered for an award. Visual Arts judging takes place on the last Saturday afternoon.

Online events: In 2023 we found most entrants choosing to offer live events. However entrants can choose to perform online only or create hybrid events that are part live performance and part online. When you enter you will have the option to choose from the following options as a way to describe your event:
- online event with individual performances at specific dates and times
- online on 24/7 throughout the Fringe
- online on 24/7 from a particular date and time
- hybrid: physical event the online 24/7 from a particular date and time

Please use free URL shortening services to make your online link as succinct as possible. We are now offering some basic advice on how to monetise your online performance should you wish to. Please contact the Entries Coordinator to request this or for any other guidance.

3 Arrange Public Liability Insurance

You must have suitable cover for your event.

Your venue may have cover but please check. Note that this is also a consideration if you perform in the street - see Street performances.

It is up to the entrant to take all due consideration and care regarding health and safety matters including liaising with your venue on all matters concerning health and safety arrangements. You must abide by fire regulations and ensure that you do not overfill a venue. The Buxton Festival Fringe shall not be held liable for failure to take these precautions.

4 Ticket Sales Service

We do not have a centralised ticketing system. You may sell your own tickets and/or use the Opera House ticket sales service (see below) or use a managed venue which will handle your ticketing as part of its service to you. You keep all your takings (or your share if using a managed venue; special arrangements also apply with the Opera House, see below).

A ticket sales service is offered by the Fringe using the facilities of the Buxton Opera House Box Office. This service offers walk-up, telephone, postal and online sales. Using this service will make tickets for your event available to the public from June. Online sales will be then also accessible via a link from this web-site.

Buxton Opera House will reconcile all ticket sales during the fortnight after the end of the Festival and Festival Fringe and then remit the full amount of ticket sales (less charges as below) direct to entrants.

For the Buxton Opera House ticketing system to work, it is better that all your shows are at the same venue.

The box office will sell tickets right up to the time of your performance (please note that internet sales will cease at the close of business on the day before the performance) but there are operational details that you need to understand so you will need to read the details and conditions before filling in the appropriate fields on the entry form.

The set up fee for this service is £10 and is payable to the Fringe together with your entry fee. Additionally, the Opera House will charge you 7.5% of the face value of each ticket sold.

Even if you are using this service, you may also want to enter your own direct sales contact details on the Fringe's online entry form.

If your show is to be reviewed by the Fringe you need to offer a free ticket to your Official Fringe Reviewer.

We have about 195 FRINGE FRIENDS whose financial contribution helps to keep entry fees low. It is a requirement of entry that you offer a 10% discount to Fringe Friends (on presentation of their Fringe Friends card). This discount does not apply to tickets that are already concessions.

We also welcome events that are free and give them additional prominence in our Fringe for Free listings on the website. If you choose to ask for donations from an audience please only do this at the end of your performance. Entrants whose events are free will be offered an optional donations link that will be displayed as part of their listing.

5 Complete the Online Entry process

Whether you are offering a physical event, an online-only one or a hybrid event with elements of each, you will still need to complete our entry process.

You should fill in your details and pay your entrance fee online (unless you are going with Underground Venues in which case they enter on your behalf).

The link to online entry is at the bottom of the next page (Calendar and Checklist) but please read all the advice before beginning the process. Despite the temptation to make the early deadlines, please do not enter until you have everything arranged. Pay particular attention to your 50 word event description. See How to Grow Your Audience.

The programme deadline for entries and photos is April 14. Entries received after this can be processed but cannot be included in the printed programme. Beware of leaving things to the last minute, you will have a poorer choice of venue and performance time and other difficulties often crop up. The earlier you enter the more attention we can give you and the more publicity you will receive.

Your entry will not be processed until payment has been received (unless you are eligible for free entry). After this point you will be able to upload photographs (be sure not to infringe anyone's copyright - this is your responsibility!) but you will NOT BE ABLE TO EDIT YOUR ENTRY DETAILS ONLINE. This is because the Fringe reserves the right to make final edits according to our house style. Any changes or amendments should be directed to the Fringe's entries co-ordinator who will be happy to help however. 

In the online entry form you will be asked if you are interested in Our Community Groups Link scheme. This offers you the chance to work with local community groups and schools.

You will also be asked if you are interested in being contacted about appearing on Fringe Sunday - July 7 from 2pm to 4:30pm.

6 Upload publicity photos

As part of the online entry procedure, once you have submitted payment, you will be able to upload publicity photos (jpeg or gif format please).

These may be used on the website, in the printed programme, in press releases and other publicity.

For the printed programme we need good resolution pics though if you have them bigger than about 5MB you may have problems uploading so please resize first accordingly.

Try to include some pictures that will look good when reproduced small. Try and keep resolution to 300 DPI if possible but it is better to submit any picture rather than none! If you do not provide a picture we may approach you about using a piece of generic artwork sourced by the Fringe against your entry.

Be sure not to infringe anyone's copyright - this is your responsibility.

We are in an increasingly litigious world. Be aware that as an entrant you have to have copyright on the images you use, and that by entering the Fringe you give Buxton Festival Fringe permission to use your images on the website in perpetuity, and in the printed programme and other Fringe publicity. You also permit us to make these pictures available to interested media for the purpose of publicising your Fringe event.

If you have licensed an image from someone else, you will have to send written evidence to us that you have permission to use it and that the image is also licensed for use on our site in perpetuity and for the publicity purposes already outlined. Under no circumstances can you use a third party image without licensing. Any infringements are the responsibility of the entrant.

Download our handy flowchart to help answer your copyright questions. 

Gallery feature: If you submit more than one photo, your pictures will be automatically displayed in a gallery link from your listing. All your pictures will be made available to the press. During the submission process you will have a chance to specify your 'main' picture ie the one displayed next to your event description. You will be able to enter a caption and/or credit a photographer or source.

7 Plan your publicity campaign

This section is so important that we give it its own page. This includes details of the Fringe Launch Party, Fringe Sunday, the Carnival and more as well as advice on flyers, posters, press releases, radio and street performances etc. Our printed programme is not published until the beginning of June but as soon as your entry is submitted it is published on both our website and on the Fringe app. You may wish to draw attention to these information sources in your own publicity.

Your own press releases can be emailed to the press officer for their information but it is your responsibility to send them out.
See How to write a Press Release.

8 Posters and flyers

The Fringe prints and distributes its own posters advertising the whole event, and has its own banners.

The distribution of your own posters and flyers is primarily your responsibility.

However, please be aware that the Fringe needs a minimum of 50 of your flyers and 8 of your posters to display at:

- The Fringe Information Desk (now in the Pavilion Gardens conservatory area near the restaurant)

- the Pump Room (Buxton Visitor Centre)

- the Library

- Buxton Station

- promotional stands and events

- Fringe parties

- the Fringe carnival float

A3 and smaller are more likely to be displayed. Two of each of your posters and flyers will also go into our Fringe archive for posterity and we are happy to share poster artwork on social media.

Unless you are with Underground Venues which makes its own arrangements, please post these posters and flyers to:

Stephen Walker, 

106 St John's Road, 

Buxton SK17 6UT 

before the Fringe starts or deliver by hand to the Fringe Desk in the Pavilion Gardens (from the day before the start of the Fringe and during opening hours).

Remember to keep some back for your own use and consider coming to Buxton in advance to promote your event. Many shops and cafes around town are happy to take posters and flyers if you ask. The Fringe is not responsible for the wider distribution of your posters and flyers. 

Whilst we recognise that it is not cost-effective to have to re-print flyers etc, please consider carefully the number you print in order to minimise the environmental impact. Also, please do not laminate posters etc unless really necessary and you intend to collect them up and keep them at the end of the Fringe. Note, the council does not tolerate fly-posting. Please avoid all street furniture and where possible remove posters after use. 

We encourage you to incorporate our Fringe Logo on your posters and flyers. Since 2019: We have very slightly tweaked our logo and now offer it with white border or with black border and in jpg and eps formats. You may also wish to use the town's Refreshingly Buxton branding.

For reasons of space, health and safety we cannot guarantee to display A boards at the Fringe Information Desk.

9 Programme changes after the final deadline

DON'T!! The show must go on!! At all costs avoid changes and cancellations. Entrants who make changes inevitably suffer at the box office and cause us a lot of work and aggravation.

If alteration or cancellation is unavoidable you must inform the venue and the Fringe immediately on 01298 79351 or text 07974 385767.

Certainly don't cancel because of poor advance ticket sales - it is up to you to decide before you enter whether it is financially viable for you to perform at the Fringe. Remember most shows sell the majority of their tickets on the day of the performance. See How to grow your audience for essential marketing tips.

10 Accommodation

We provide a list of Buxton residents who are happy to offer cheap accommodation. We offer this list in good faith but do not 'vet' accommodation providers.  Entrants will receive a link to this.

For further information Send message to Entrants' Accommodation.

See also: and and

You may also wish to consider Hartington Youth Hostel.


Did we forget something?

Oh yes, eat lots of fruit and exercise regularly!

Next and Finally: Calendar and Checklist