Survey shows big thumbs up for 2018’s Buxton Fringe

Buxton Fringe has released the results of its latest audience survey showing that 92% of respondents gave an approval rate of 4 or 5 out of 5.

The overall satisfaction was reflected at the box office with Underground Venues enjoying a 16% increase on ticket sales on 2017. Managed venues The Rotunda and The Green Man also reported healthy ticket sales and the estimated average per performance audience figure for ticketed events across the whole Fringe was 26.

Once again the Fringe contributed hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy; this year’s figure was £269,027 including expenditure from performers during their stay in Buxton plus audience’s spend on food, accommodation and ticket sales for shows from local performers. This very conservative estimate does not include the Fringe committee’s additional local expenditure on printing, design and Fringe Information Desk wages amongst other costs.

2018 was one of the Fringe’s biggest ever events with 183 separate events at the final count and the total audience figure, including estimates for the Fringe’s free events, standing at 17,353, a very similar figure to 2017’s. In the month of July the busy Fringe website received over a million total hits with the number of unique visitors to the site growing from 19,746 in 2017 to 20,421.

18% of respondents were attending the Fringe for the first time, a great sign for the future, but there was also evidence of audience loyalty with 44% having been coming for between two and 9 years and 29% having been attending the Fringe for over 10 years.

The Fringe is proving a big draw nationally with visitors coming from all over the UK and beyond. There were entrants from as far afield as Canada and about half of the artists who responded to the Fringe’s entrants’ survey were also attending other festivals including Edinburgh and Orlando.

Audience feedback was overwhelmingly supportive with comments including: “Keep on keeping on. Proud to be Friends. You do a brilliant job.”, “Excellent event - lights up a beautiful town.”, “The Buxton Fringe really does go from strength to strength and this year was no exception.”, “Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard to put on such an amazing Fringe. It makes you proud to live in Buxton” and “Loved the friendliness, informality, variety and excellent acting. As good as Edinburgh without the hassle.”

Meanwhile performers praised the Fringe organisers with comments such as “I felt very supported by the Fringe staff”, and, describing the entry process, “It was all very easy and the times I needed help it was there” and "Wonderful - what a fantastic experience”.

Fringe chair Keith Savage summed up: “The Buxton Fringe of 2018 was blessed with warm, dry weather and an artistic programme full of riches. It felt like a happy and successful event and the survey evidence confirms that feeling. We look forward to welcoming old friends and new next July confident that artists and audiences will have a good time in Buxton.”

Next year’s Fringe40 will be a specially extended event to mark the 40th year of the Fringe. Dates have been set as July 3-24 2019 with the Fringe website opening for entries on December 1 and a discounted £40 entry fee available until the end of February.


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