Buxton Festival Fringe

Buxton Festival Fringe
Photo: buxtonfringe.org.uk
The Buxton Festival Fringe is an annual open arts festival held in the spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire, England. It runs concurrently with the world-famous Buxton Festival. Whereas the Buxton Festival is regarded as a rather serious event focusing on music and literature, the Buxton Festival Fringe is noted for its informal and relaxed atmosphere.

The first Buxton Festival was held in July 1979 in the newly renovated Buxton Opera House. The next year one of its founders, Malcolm Fraser, created an alternative festival and named it the Buxton Festival Fringe. The two festivals complement each other rather than compete. The Buxton Festival focuses on classical art, while the Buxton Festival Fringe showcases mostly contemporary and experimental art.

The motto of the Buxton Festival Fringe is “Art is for all, not just an elite”. This applies to artists and audience alike. The organizers of the festival give performers an opportunity to showcase their work in a friendly, creative and receptive atmosphere for a small cost.

The program of the Fringe encompasses various kinds and genres of art including dance, drama, music, poetry, comedy, film, performance art, fine art, busking (street performance), magic, improvisation, and more. Basically, there are no restrictions and all artists have equal chances to perform at the festival and showcase their talent. The Fringe encourages artists to experiment and take risks.

Like most other fringe festivals, the Buxton Festival Fringe doesn’t have selection and censorship. Anyone can participate as long as they apply on time so that the Fringe Committee can include them into the program and find a suitable venue. Each edition of the Fringe features over 100 artists and groups. For example, in 2016, the festival hosted approximately 500 performances from more than 150 entrants.

The Buxton Festival Fringe is held every July. It is sometimes considered a kind of warm-up before the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that takes place in August because many artists use it as a preview before performing in Edinburgh. Along with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Brighton Festival Fringe, the Buxton Festival Fringe is one of the largest and most prestigious fully independent fringe festivals in the UK. It is a non-profit event run by volunteers.

Buxton Festival Fringe

Photo: buxtonfringe.org.uk



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