Buxton Fringe prepares for a sizzling summer of arts

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release - Jan 2018

Now in its 39th year and one of the largest Fringes in the country, Buxton Festival Fringe (July 4-22) is open for entries and is building up its exciting 2018 programme. Last year’s biggest ever Buxton Fringe featured 189 entries and contributed over £300,000 to the local economy with ticket sales up by 36%.

Events are listed on the Fringe website as they come in. Early highlights to date include Comedy with Aidan Goatley’s Purpose, about an atheist whose wife is training as a vicar, and Karen Sherrard’s warm, Welsh entertainment, A Fete Worse Than Death. There is also Theatre from Buxton Drama League with Telling Lives about the treatment of the mentally ill at the start of the First World War, Spoken Word from Paul Webster offering two one-man shows, one inspired by Hitler’s final hour, and Visual Arts featuring the return of Burbage Art Group. Music is also building up fast with an eclectic mix including Sovereign Saxophone Octet, Ordsall A Cappella, jazz singer Annette Gregory and musician Egriega with his new character, ex-hack Frank Sinistra. The Fringe Award-winning Buxton Pride Picnic will be back and the Pavilion Gardens will also host family-friendly events including Tiny! An Underwater World and Fringe showcases, Fringe @ 5 and Fringe Sunday. Look out too for the Fringe float at the popular town carnival. Many more events from all over the country and beyond are expected before the April 15 closing date for entries.

Underground Venues, an award-winning venue group with over 10 years’ experience running venues on the Buxton Fringe, will again be installed at The Old Clubhouse, next to Buxton Opera House, as well as the Arts Centre Studio. 2018’s Fringe also boasts at least two other managed venues - the Rotunda, which made its debut in 2017, and the Green Man Gallery whose reputation has been growing over a number of years.

Over the years, the Fringe, a registered charity run almost entirely by volunteers, has gained a reputation as one of Britain's friendliest arts festivals in a beautiful town that was runner up in 2014’s UK Great Town Awards and is also home to the prestigious Buxton International Festival featuring opera, music and literary speakers during July.

The town is poised for major regeneration with the redeveloped Grade 1 listed Crescent due to open as a 5-star spa hotel in 2019, helping to cement Buxton’s reputation as a leading Spa, Festival and University town, surrounded by the hills of the Peak District in the heart of England. The Fringe is an integral part of the town's cultural reputation and is the biggest UK Fringe between Edinburgh and Brighton.

The 2018 Fringe takes place between July 4 and 22 and will feature Theatre, Comedy and Music categories as well as Dance, Film, For Families, Spoken Word, Street Theatre, Film and Visual Arts. Entrants generally come from all over the UK and the world with established stars joining a host of up-and-coming young performers on route for Edinburgh. Prices vary with some events being free.

Events are fully listed on the Fringe website http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk The free printed programme will be widely distributed from the beginning of June and a flyer is already available. The Fringe can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@BuxtonFringe) and via its blog, accessible from the Fringe website.

A completely open-access festival, the Fringe does not undertake any selection or censorship, and provides a showcase for performers and artists of all kinds in a variety of venues, from a state of the art auditorium to a secondhand bookshop and a local cave. The Fringe also organises reviews for its shows and the sought-after Fringe Awards.

Buxton Fringe's philosophy is that art is for all and Fringe organisers spread the word using effective marketing, by entering a float in the Buxton Carnival and through a range of community initiatives such as providing work experience for local students and encouraging entrants to perform in schools, care homes and youth organisations. For 2018 there will be a special focus on venues outside the town centre.

A BAFA member, the Fringe took part in discussions at BAFA’s Roadshow in Hull in 2016, gave a talk on Cultural Tourism at BAFA’s 2015 Roadshow in Litchfield and provided an Awards workshop at the 2014 World Fringe Congress in Edinburgh.

Fringe chair Keith Savage says: “Buxton stands poised on the edge of great things. It will be relaunched as an International tourist destination next year. It is important that all of us with a stake in the town contribute towards being ready for this exciting future. The Festival Fringe 2018 will, I am certain, show that Buxton is a generous and welcoming host and that it can provide challenging entertainment for all.”

He adds: "The Fringe is pleased to have the support and sponsorship of local organisations. We work closely with the University of Derby - our long-standing sponsors - so that we can share and learn together. High Peak Borough Council and its staff at the Pavilion Gardens have also been brilliant in supporting us as has the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust."


For further information, press releases and pictures please contact:

Marketing Officer, Stephanie Billen: Send message to Press

Chair, Keith Savage: Send message to Info or 07952 193 521