Buxton Festival Fringe 2017
Ticket sales rose by 36% according to recent statistics from Buxton Festival Fringe, which celebrated its biggest ever event this summer.
The bumper Fringe boasted 189 separate events at the final count, with the total audience figure, including estimates for the Fringe’s free events, up by 9% on 2016 to 17,530. Audience survey forms showed higher satisfaction rates too with 92% of respondents scoring the Fringe 4 or 5 out of 5 compared to 86% in both 2016 and 2015. In the month of July the busy Fringe website received 19,746 unique visitors compared to 15,621 in the same period in 2016.
The Fringe consistently contributes over £300,000 to the local economy with this year’s figure adding up to £316,324 including expenditure from performers during their stay in Buxton plus audience’s spend on food, accommodation and ticket sales for shows from local performers. This conservative estimate does not include the Fringe committee’s additional local expenditure on printing, design and Fringe Information Desk wages amongst other costs.
17% were attending the Fringe for the first time, a great sign for the future, but there was also evidence of audience loyalty with half the respondents having been coming for between two and 9 years and 23% having been attending the Fringe for over 10 years.
The Fringe is a proving a big draw nationally with visitors coming from London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Brighton and Cornwall as well as from abroad. There were entrants from as far afield as America and about half of the artists who responded to the Fringe’s entrants’ survey were also attending other festivals including Edinburgh and Prague.
Enthusiastic audience feedback included: “Long may it last. Huge round of applause to the volunteers.” “The Fringe is really great and brings the town to life”. “Thought the new layout of the Fringe programme excellent”. “Fab festival. Great variety and quality acts”. “It was great to have the new Rotunda Theatre in the gardens”. “Gets better every year – well done!”
Meanwhile, performers praised the Fringe for the simplicity of its entry process with comments such as “Very impressed with all the support and help”, “Open, friendly, helpful – really nice” and “Easy to enter. Made to feel welcome. Best Fringe in the UK.”
Fringe chair Keith Savage summed up: “The Buxton Fringe 2017 welcomed some new venues and performers which meant a degree of risk-taking on their part and it’s good to see that boldness has paid off. The news that the Buxton Fringe has the capacity to grow will encourage others to join us in 2018.”
Next year’s Fringe dates have been set as 4th – 22nd July 2018 with the Fringe website www.buxtonfringe.org.uk opening for entries on December 1.