New-look AGM salutes an extraordinary Buxton Fringe

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release – October 17th 2020

Buxton Fringe will be holding its Annual General Meeting via Zoom for the first time following an extraordinary festival in which most of its performances were online.

The open-to-all AGM will take place on Wednesday November 11th at 7pm. Anyone interested in attending is asked to email Send message to Entries for an invitation.

The event is likely to see new appointments for the positions of Vice Chair and Treasurer as well as opportunities for new people to join the committee. Stephen Walker will also be looking back on his unusual first Fringe as committee chair. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Buxton Fringe was delighted to attract over 100 entries, mostly online but also featuring some physical events including art trails and an outdoor comedy performance.

Fringe survey results show the average audience approval rating was a healthy 4.05 out of 5 with the Fringe website receiving nearly 6,000 unique visitors in July. There were also good audiences for online performances with Peak Voices reporting over 5,000 hits for One Song More and the Fringe’s new audio series, Fringe Readings, gaining more than 600.

100% of audience survey respondents agreed that encouraging online events was a good idea and 64% felt the online offer meant they were able to see events that would have been inaccessible to them. 77% said they would be interested in seeing online events in the future with many entrants confirming that they would consider putting on online events in years to come, possibly in conjunction with physical performances.

68% of audience respondents had SK postcodes indicating a welcome surge of local support. There were many complimentary comments about the Fringe’s decision to go ahead including: “Means people can still do what they love and an audience can still watch what they enjoy!” and “Forward-thinking, innovative and inclusive… a pleasure to engage with”. Performers agreed, adding comments such as: “Absolutely brilliant! A determined effort to share arts and create community inclusion”, “I’d like to congratulate the organisers on rising magnificently to an unprecedented and totally new challenge” and “Brave, bold, brilliant! Showing the overly bloated dinosaur festivals how it should be done.”

Performers were delighted with the help they received from Fringe organisers offering feedback such as: “Fantastic - great communication”, “The entry process was easy and Fringe staff were always on hand to answer any queries” and “Thank you for making us feel so special and wanted!”

With the Fringe opening for entries on December 1st, Fringe chair Stephen Walker comments: “We felt that despite lockdown creative people wouldn't stop creating so we went ahead with the Fringe in July to give artists a platform for their work. They repaid our faith in style with over a hundred entries many making use of innovative approaches to technology. It gives us every confidence for a successful Fringe in 2021 whatever circumstances throw at us.”

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