Why the Fringe trail is heading North

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release February 2012

Buxton's Fringe cements its place at the centre of the UK's Fringe Festival scene. For over thirty years the vibrant Buxton Festival Fringe has provided an alternative to the three-week run of the more classically orientated, opera-based Buxton Festival.

Located in the picturesque Derbyshire spa town, the open access Fringe goes from strength to strength and is an important step in the sequence of Fringes through the UK in the Spring and Summer - the Brighton Fringe in May, followed by Oxfringe in Oxford running into June, and culminating in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Buxton in July is the final stop before Edinburgh and many artists perform here on their way North.

Buxton Festival Fringe has a respected and professional image with a full-colour programme, website, awards system, strong digital presence on Facebook and Twitter and reviews of all shows.

From its relatively small beginnings, the Fringe has grown considerably, in 2011 hosting its biggest programme ever - well over 500 events from over 160 entrants. While Britain may be burdened by cost-cutting and financial belt-tightening, in the 2011 Fringe ticket sales were up 7% to an estimated 9,692.

The 2012 Fringe takes place between July 4 and 22. This year's programme of events is already coming together with entries being listed as they come in on the ever-expanding Fringe website: http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/programme.php

A new mobile version of the website has also been developed so you can follow the Fringe on your smart phone.

The free printed programme will be widely distributed from the beginning of June.

The Fringe provides a showcase for performers and artists of all kinds in a variety of venues. With a programme comprising Comedy, Dance, Film, For Families, Music, Spoken Word, Street Theatre, Theatre and Visual Arts, the Buxton Fringe offers something for all tastes.

The Fringe Committee is made up of dedicated volunteers who have helped turn the Fringe into the success it is now. The Fringe does not undertake any selection, censorship, financing or selective promotion of individual events. It does however, try to ensure that every event in the Fringe receives a review, and organises the much-sought-after awards at the end of each festival.

As well as the active members of the Fringe Committee, the Buxton Fringe has a highly supportive group of Fringe Friends, now numbering over 170, who take part in regular activities when the Fringe itself is not running.

It is a core part of the Buxton Fringe's philosophy that art is for all and the Fringe recognises the need to spread the word in our local community. As part of this commitment, it takes a Fringe float around the Buxton Carnival and puts on a free open-air showcase of Fringe events called Fringe Sunday (this year on July 8).

The Fringe has also conducted community initiatives including organising workshops with schools and community groups to create a giant orange fringe to decorate the Pavilion Gardens' bandstand on Fringe Sunday. Fringe entrants are encouraged to perform in schools, care homes and youth organisations through the Fringe's Community Groups Links scheme. Read more about its work in the community at: http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/communitylinks.html

The Fringe also has a positive relationship with its main sponsor The University of Derby Buxton, appearing at its student open days and evenings. And it has strong ties with the local secondary, Buxton Community School, providing work experience and volunteering opportunities for the students.

The Fringe joined British Arts Festival Association in 2007 and co-hosted BAFA's annual conference held in Buxton in October 2007. In recent years the Fringe has taken part in BAFA's Roadshow giving a well-received presentation on Digital Marketing in Manchester in 2010.

In 2011, the Fringe also became part of a group publicising all festivals in Derbyshire - Festivity. http://festivity.weebly.com/

Fringe chair Stephanie Billen says: "The Fringe is always exciting because anyone can enter and we see performers at the height of their powers and also just starting out. Though it is growing, it retains a very intimate atmosphere and a reputation for friendliness of which we are very proud. The spa town of Buxton is not only a beautiful location but a very supportive community and we are especially grateful for the back up we receive from many organisations including our main sponsor, the University of Derby Buxton, plus supporters Trevor Osborne of the Crescent Spa Hotel Project, the Old Hall Hotel, the Cavendish Shopping Arcade and High Peak Borough Council."

For further information contact our press officec using Send message to Press or the chair, Stephanie Billen through Send message to Info tel 01298 79351