So you're planning on entering the Buxton Festival Fringe and need some inspiration for booking a venue? I get the lowdown from our friendly venues team.
“It’s a mistake to sit back and relax thinking July’s ages away”, advises long term Fringer, Pam. “If you want to get your ideal venue in terms of size, location and cost, you need to be quick off the mark.” And with dates at the popular Green Man Gallery already nearly fully booked, there’s no time to lose. As she says: "It's best to get the venue sorted and make your entry ASAP to take advantage of our discounted entry rates."
Venues colleague Sandra adds: “We have over 50 venues on our books, with everything from pubs, cafes and church halls to outside spaces such as parks, woods and bandstands. There’s even a cave!”
So something to suit any type of show? “Yes, the range is huge, performers can find the full list with details on our website”, she tells me. See https://buxtonfringe.org.uk/
I ask the pair to pick out a few examples to demonstrate the wide range of choice. After a lot of discussion I beat them down to five examples.
With a prime location in central Buxton, longstanding Fringe favourites Underground at The Clubhouse offer full technical support including lighting and sound as well as ticket sales. Underground have announced they are now taking bookings. Find full details on Underground at no.21 on our venues list.
Located just outside town on the A515, The High Peak Bookstore has been gaining popularity with Fringe performers over recent years. The cafe and store makes a lovely setting for spoken word performances but would also suit more intimate music and theatre acts. The Bookstore is listed at no.30.
Back in Buxton, The Arches is a brick-vaulted space set in an old corn mill. This quirky and unique performance space is under new management and they are keen to host Fringe events. Find the Arches at no.110 on the venues page.
The elegant Victorian Pump Room, located bang opposite the Crescent Hotel, houses Buxton’s Visitor Centre during the day and can be hired as a venue in the evenings. This year the Pump Room will be offering Fringe entrants free 20-minute daytime slots every day of the Fringe in which to advertise their events. The free showcase slots must be booked in advance. Email them at email@example.com. Full details are under no.84.
Meanwhile Higher Buxton is home to a new kid on the block, The Eco Cafe. The team tells me that this recently opened venue offers a range of rooms with intimate and alternative atmospheres. It is listed at no.130.
So any final words of advice for entrants?
“Make sure you talk to the venue and have a checklist of the things that are important for you such as size, lighting, layout, support as well as cost”, says Pam.
“If possible, visit the venue in advance and don’t forget to look at our venues page”, adds Sandra.
So don’t delay, get your venue sorted today!
To contact the venues team, contact the venues co-ordinator via https://buxtonfringe.org.uk/