Sunday 28 June 2020

How to Navigate a mainly Online Fringe

Diary page from the Buxton Fringe App

A few days ago I wrote about how we’d come to this point and a Fringe that is mainly, though not entirely, online. Now, it’s time to look forward to what Buxton Fringe will look like this year and how it will differ from every year gone by.

The obvious difference is that we won’t be going out as much to see shows and exhibitions, and that will also impact how we find out about performances or art that we might like, and how we connect with artists, performers and each other. And importantly, it affects how those who create the work can be recompensed for it.

Anyone who knows Buxton Fringe will know how ubiquitous our programmes are, we have a well-oiled machine that gets the programmes out and about and keeps those stocks regularly topped up. But there is no programme this year.

So, as well as most of the Fringe events happening online, how to find out about them will also be online on our trusty website, and on the app (available for Apple and Android) which we introduced last year.

Filter button top right
We appreciate that with most of the events being online, they will be available all day every day, and that could make our diary pages look rather crowded, so there are new filters available to help you to exclude or include events that are online or happening every day. Look out for the filter button on the app (pictured, it looks like three sliding knobs), and the new option buttons on the website’s diary page.

App Home Page
An alternative method is to go straight to the category pages, which will list all the events in each genre (e.g. Music, Theatre, Comedy, Visual Arts etc), links are obvious on the app’s main screen, and on the event descriptions page of the website.

To actually access an online event, click the link(s) provided in the event description.

If you would like to create your own schedule fo the Fringe, you can use My Fringe on the app, or make use of the website planner which now has an option to Synch Your Plan to the app.

Of course with watching at home, or on the move (there are quite a few audio productions), on your phone, tablet, laptop, or even TV screen if it is internet connected or via screen casting, then we don’t get to see each other to talk about the things we’ve enjoyed. So please be active in sharing, whether that’s on social media, or within WhatsApp groups, or emails. You can add comments for each show on the description pages on both the website and app. Let us at the Fringe (social media tags below), and your friends know what is worth catching up on.

Audiences also won’t be able to connect with the artists and performers in the same way. Usually, the beauty of the Fringe is that it is easy to hang around and chat to a performer, or you might run into them in the Fringe Bar upstairs at the Old Clubhouse. The performers are isolated from that kind of feedback, so do leave comments on performances you liked, tag them on social media, or contact them by whatever means they make available.

Let’s all talk plenty this Fringe!

Of course, we are used to buying tickets for shows, and that will be a rarity this year. Many performers will be asking for donations, so if your income is unaffected by the Covid 19 crisis, please consider thinking about what you would normally spend during the Fringe and making a donation. Many people have been hit financially this year though, so if you feel unable to donate, please just enjoy the Fringe and the great entertainment available away from the mainstream. Let’s put away our iPlayer and Netflix for a couple of weeks!

Enjoy Fringe 2020! It will certainly be different...

Stephen Walker
Buxton Fringe

Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe
Instagram: @buxtonfringe

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