The Fringe is always here to help so here’s our virtual guide to November 14th’s wine and crisp-fuelled AGM at the Green Man Gallery in Buxton.
First off there was a wonderful new Fringe40 banner heralding the build up to next year’s 40th Fringe. It’s going to be a dual celebration as Buxton International Festival will be simultaneously marking its 40th anniversary.
Fringe chair Keith Savage took a moment to reflect on a scorchio Fringe 2018 where Buxton experienced something close to cafe society - even though the Shakespeare Jukebox still managed to get soaked on one occasion (admittedly whilst performing The Tempest).
2018 was “a year of consolidation”, building on changes seen in 2017, with UV reporting increased audiences in its new venue of The Old Clubhouse, the Rotunda enjoying a busy second year in the Pavilion Gardens and ticket sales holding up well across the board. The Fringe was the second biggest ever with particularly high audience satisfaction ratings reported in our survey. Contributing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy, “the Fringe helps put Buxton on the map regionally, nationally and internationally”, said Keith.
The Fringe was able to work closely with a number of partner organisations throughout the year including its sponsor the University, the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust, HPBC, the Crescent, Buxton International Festival, the Green Man Gallery, Buxton Opera House, Friends of Buxton Station, the Town Team, Vision Buxton, The Springs, The Palace, The Old Hall and others. Over 170 Fringe Friends make a valuable financial contribution as well as acting as ambassadors for the event, while a strong Fringe committee with new members provides energy and ideas.
Looking ahead to Fringe40, Keith hinted at exciting plans including a brass band commission, a carnival collaboration with the Festival and an archive exhibition at the Green Man Gallery. Fringe40 will be an extended event running from July 3-24 and with a special one-off earlybird entry fee of £40 it is hoped that it will be a bumper event too pulling in plenty of performers, both local and from further afield.
Keith reminded us that Fringe40 will be his last as chair. He will have served tirelessly and enthusiastically for six years. So it will be all change at next year’s AGM - in other words that’s going to be an event you really can’t afford to miss!