Sunday, 16 February 2014

Venues and Mares

We may come to regret this post title and find that we've written ourselves into some inescapable corner. Let us see.

We were asked, recently, "How many venues does Buxton Fringe have?" Well we have over 100 performance spaces available - though in most Fringes around 45 of them get used. So a heartfelt thanks to all the venue owners and managers who make such an interesting range of potential spaces available - and in some cases for no charge at all.

A number of the town churches are well-established and familiar places to Fringe audiences; from the grandest, St John's, to the least intimidating, the United Reformed Church, via the friendly Methodist Church, possibly the oldest, St Peter's Fairfield and the well-lawned St Mary's. Beyond Buxton, the 'Cathedral of the Peak' in beautiful Tideswell is sometimes used by Fringe performers.

As you might expect a number of the town's bars and hotels provide warm welcomes: most years there will be an handful of shows at the Old Clubhouse which is convenient for the Opera House. There are about 10 pubs around the Market Place and The Cheshire Cheese is a new venue for Fringe 2014. Live music is often to be heard at The Queen's and The Eagle. Half-way along the main shopping street - Spring Gardens - you'll find The Milton's Head and just beyond that road is the Railway with a generously large room.

Among the hotels frequently used are The Old Hall, The Palace and The Buckingham. Unusual venues include Poole's Cavern, Scrivener's Bookshop (which offers the smallest indoor space) and Discover Buxton's Victorian Tram (the most mobile venue we have).

Public spaces that are regular Fringe hosts include the Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, the University of Derby's genuinely unique Dome and Art Cafe in the Pavilion Gardens.

We've already written at length about one 'managed' venue - Underground Venues. For Fringe 2014 we have a second managed venue situated in the Market Place. Sian Dudley's new venture is called, reasonably enough, The Market Place and makes use of two clubs, Level 2 and The Trunk.

Apologies to those venues we haven't mentioned here. The comments box is below and will help you! If you are planning to bring a show to Buxton Fringe this summer - well it costs just £45 to enter, so long as you complete your entry by the end of February. As you can see there are plenty of spaces large and small, inside and out, ready to host your event.

Oh, the Mares? Well they make very reputable dive gear but they don't sponsor us, so that's enough.