Buxton Festival Fringe has revealed a big rise in ticket sales as people continue to flock to Britain's friendly fringe.
Though the economy continues to flat-line, another successful Fringe saw ticket sales rise by 24% to an estimated 12,038 for 2012. Total spend in the local area by audiences and performers was also up to £338,000. Prudent performers spent less but this was more than offset by audience spend including food, accommodation, and ticket sales, which is an encouraging sign for the sustainability of the Fringe and the artists involved.
The accessibility of the Fringe is evident in the thousands of people who experience it for free. Events such as Fringe Sunday and Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Men's Day of Dance, as well as Visual Arts exhibitions like the Dome Art Fair and Buxton Art Trail, are open to all free of charge and drove total audience figures up to an estimated 24,500.
There were encouraging signs of growth as more people attended more than one show, there was a slightly younger audience, and a continuing high proportion of first-time visitors.
Though the Fringe broke new records with 170 entrants, quality hasn't suffered with 90% of respondents rating the Fringe positively for overall enjoyment. Audience members commented that it was a "Great festival full of talented people - really enjoyed the atmosphere" and highlighted the "large and eclectic mix - something for everyone".
Buxton Festival Fringe's reputation for a positive atmosphere and friendliness was boosted by the response of entrants who praised the Fringe team as "friendly and approachable" as well as "very reliable, helpful and professional" and the Fringe itself as
"first class" and "a superbly run festival".
Fringe Chair, Stephanie Billen, commented, "With a record number of events this year, we were a little concerned about audiences but though there are always big variations from show to show we are delighted to report such a substantial overall increase in ticket sales. Free events are also very important to us. The whole thing is very much a team effort and we are particularly grateful to our main sponsor, the University of Derby Buxton plus Trevor Osborne of the Crescent Spa Hotel Project; the Cavendish Arcade; the Old Hall Hotel; the Opera House; the Borough Council and all our loyal volunteers, Fringe Friends and venues."
The Fringe is now looking forward to 2013 with new initiatives including an over 18s competition to create artwork for next year's programme cover. See Art Competition 2013 for details of the competition, which closes on October 1st.
Anyone keen to become involved behind the scenes or who has an interest in the Fringe is invited to contact Stephanie (Send message to Info).
For further information or interviews about the Fringe Send message to Press or tel: 07974 385767.