Fringe for Free 2024

We have plenty of free stuff to do at the Fringe, and it's all listed here. If you're interested in a particular category simply click on the colour-coded links below. Once a category has been opened, click on the left hand colour bar to close it.

Many more events will come on stream before we reach the closing date for entries on Sunday 14th April. Please check back often.

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Info

Events marked Family Friendly have been suggested by the entrant as generally suitable for family viewing. Events in the Children's Events category are specifically aimed at young people. In the event of purely Online events, click on the links within the event description.

Please note that details of performances, including times and dates, may be subject to Late Changes. Numbers in brackets refer to venue numbers (see map). How to make a Comment.

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Fringe

The Fringe float in 2023 (credit: Stephen Walker)

FRINGE AT THE CARNIVAL - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Musicians and performers join in the fun as Buxton Fringe takes to the streets with its award-winning orange float. Thanks to Lomas Distribution and to the Well Dressing and Carnival team for organising this highlight in the town's calendar. Wear orange and give us a wave as we go by!
Around the Town 13 Jul 2pm to 4pm Free, Donations: Give generously to the Well Dressing Charities Comments

The Fringe Awards in 2023 (credit: Dan Osborne)

FRINGE AWARDS 2024 - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Performers, Fringe Friends, Fringe committee members and reviewers are among those invited to our Fringe Awards ceremony. Enjoy a drink with us in relaxed, open-air surroundings with the polytunnel available if needs be! We see this as a celebration of everyone who supports our fantastic Fringe.
Serpentine Community Garden (107) Map 21 Jul 5pm to 6:30pm Free
Further information: Open to groups stated and by invitation. Comments

Pieter Egriega performs for Fringe on Friday in 2023 (credit: Stephanie Billen)

FRINGE ON FRIDAY - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Buxton Fringe performers offer free extracts from their shows. Please support them. It is a brilliant way to enjoy a sneak preview of the many excellent shows on offer. The Bandstand offers shelter if it rains.
Pavilion Gardens – Bandstand (33a) Map 5 & 12 Jul 5pm to 6pm Free Comments

Fringe Sunday 2023 (credit: Carole Garner)

FRINGE SUNDAY - Buxton Festival Fringe Family Friendly
Join us for our traditional, family-friendly Fringe showcase in the park. Buy some Derbyshire ice cream and we'll provide the entertainment! Expect dance, music, singing, comedy, magic and more! Pick up a Fringe programme or become a Fringe Friend. Mingle with the stars at this fabulous outdoor party!
Pavilion Gardens – Bandstand (33a) Map 7 Jul 2pm to 4:30pm Free Comments

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Children's Events

tree lobsters? river mice? wool dragons?

TINY!: WILD AND WONDERFUL - Stone and Water Family Friendly
Another TINY! day in the Gardens! From dragons to mermaids, monstermice to flying rabbits. A chance to stop, think and make some weird, wild, wonderful and simply fantastic creatures who might, or might not, or maybe should, or definitely should not, live in the gardens.
Pavilion Gardens – Playground (33m) Map 14 Jul 11am to 3pm Free, Ages 3+ Comments

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Dance

credit John Bradburn

BUXTON DAY OF DANCE 2024 - Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Family Friendly
A feast of traditional dancing from around the country. The streets of Buxton will be filled with the music, colour, passion, energy and humour that the Morris brings. Over 150 dancers and musicians from 16 different Morris sides hosted by Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris.
Around the Town 20 Jul 10:30am to 4:30pm Free Gallery Comments

Swing Sisters

SWING DANCE LESSON - Dancing On The Spot Family Friendly
Enjoy learning the basics of swing dance. A workshop for children and adults. Families, couples, and individual dancers all welcome to join this event led by sisters, Emma and Casey Brayndick, teachers, dancers, and actors extraordinaire with On The Spot and Dancing On The Spot from Chicago, performing in Buxton.
United Reformed Church – Green Room: Hall (55b) Map 6 Jul 2pm to 4pm Free, Donations: Suggested contribution £5 Gallery Comments

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Music

PARTITA RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE MUSIC - Partita Family Friendly
Award winning ensemble Partita Renaissance and Baroque music
Buxton Methodist Church – Church Hall (06b) Map 18 Jul 1pm to 2:20pm Free, Donations: charity donations Comments

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Spoken Word

Photo credit: Khoa Võ

DOCTOR COPPELIUS - Chris Neville-Smith
Everyone knows the story of the doll Coppelia, and of Franz who believed her to be real, and of Swanhilda who loved Franz. But what of the doll's creator? Why do the terrible thing he did? Now, the tragic villain from Delibes's ballet tell his side of the story. (New Writing)
Scrivener's Bookshop (11) Map 11 Jul 4pm to 5pm Free, Donations: Collection after performance for the Samaritans
Further information: Limited capacity. Free entry on door, but email chris@chrisnevillesmith.info to be certain of entry. Comments

THE MONOLOGUE PROJECT 2024 - Strajanka Productions Family Friendly
The Monologue Project is a competition to find the best monologue of 2024. Watch and listen to the video podcast, choose your favourite from the shortlist of six and vote via email. The winner will receive a prize of £50. (New Writing)
Online: youtu.be/KrhcVJxeF5U?si=aoOJNIY-f8c5CWG5 3-21 Jul all day Free, Donations: blythehousehospice.org.uk/single-donation/#donate
Further information: strajanka@outlook.com Comments

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Theatre

Nancy Edwards workshopping "Rethinking Good Intentions" (credit: Dr. Phil)

RETHINKING GOOD INTENTIONS - Nancy Edwards
A compelling story about bridging cultural divides. Nancy transports us to villages in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Meet village chiefs and traditional midwives. Encounter tenacious cultural clashes and their resolution. Experience how community health nursing work rattles Nancy’s preconceptions, provokes her notions of social privilege, and deepens her global connections. (New Writing)
Online: www.nancyedwards.ca 6 & 20 Jul 5pm to 6pm Free, Adult themes, Ages 18+ Gallery
Further information: Live performances to be followed by Q&A. Recording of first performance will be available online from 7-21 Jul Comments

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Visual Arts

ART AT THE CRESCENT - PEAK DISTRICT ARTISANS - Peak District Artisans Family Friendly
Showcasing an exciting exhibition of contemporary artwork from some of the best professional artists and makers in the Peak District. This diverse exhibition includes paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery, photography and textiles, and is a great opportunity to meet the artists and purchase something totally unique.
The Crescent - Assembly Rooms (59a) Map 5-7 Jul 10am to 5pm Free Gallery Comments

ART IN THE OCTAGON - High Peak Artists Family Friendly
Don’t miss this Fringe Award nominated art extravaganza! Over 30 exhibition stands. Meet award-winning artists and makers from the High Peak Artists group with special guest renowned artist Rob Wilson. Demonstrations in oils, pastels, watercolours, urban sketching, silk painting, wood carving, photography, printmaking, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and lots more.
Pavilion Gardens – Octagon (33d) Map 8-10 Jul 10am to 5pm Free Comments

BUXTON FLOWERPOT TRAIL - Funny Wonders Family Friendly
Head to where you see the dots, can you find the flowerpots? Family fun around Buxton. Trail maps available from the Pump Room, Poole’s Cavern and The Green Man Gallery. Cost £1. Or download a copy for free from www.funnywonders.org.uk. Donations welcome. #BuxtonFlowerpotTrail
Around the Town 3-21 Jul all day Free, Donations: tinyurl.com/3cjbzxrj
Further information: hello@funnywonders.org.uk Comments

THE FREEDOM TRAIL - The Green Man Gallery Resident Artists Family Friendly
What does freedom mean to you? Follow the Freedom Trail around the gallery to discover how the Resident Artists have answered this question. A thought-provoking series of paintings, drawings, printmaking, ceramics and photography, displayed alongside the gallery's vibrant Summer Collection, presented as a counterpoint to the guest exhibition, 'John Bull'.
Green Man Gallery (86) Map 3-21 Jul 10:30am to 5pm Free
Further information: the Gallery, 01298 937375 or thegreenmangallery.com Comments

'He Picked Them For Their Size' - 'John Bull' Exhibition by Jeff Perks

JOHN BULL: ILLUSTRATIONS FOR MICHAEL ROSEN'S POEM - Jeff Perks (in collaboration with Michael Rosen) Family Friendly
Children's author Micheal Rosen wrote 'John Bull' to explain how slavery came about and how British industry was built on the back of slaves. This striking exhibition of original linocuts and sculptures illustrates the poem and includes work created by children from Litton Primary School in response to the poem.
Green Man Gallery (86) Map 3-21 Jul 10:30am to 5pm Free Gallery
Further information: the Gallery, 01298 937375 or thegreenmangallery.com Comments

PAULA'S ART PAD - Paula Hobdey Family Friendly
Eclectic selection of birds and abstracts in mixed media. Wide variety of landscapes, animals, portraits and more. Paula's previous exhibitions have had good reviews and, in the past, the artist has had works accepted for the Derbyshire Open at Buxton Museum. Refreshments available.
9 Wye Head, Buxton SK17 9AG (95) Map 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 17 & 20, 21 Jul 10:30am to 4:30pm Free Comments

POTS, PANS & A SPLASHING MACHINE - Cul-de-sac theatre Family Friendly
A mesmerising, dreamlike installation about life on a kidney dialysis machine. Terry Naylor, a dialysis patient himself, has created a surreal, multisensory reworking of Dr Willem Kolff’s original machine, built in Nazi-occupied Holland using sausage-skins and an old washing machine! In support of Kidney Research UK. A blissful meditation!
The Bungalow, Lightwood Ave, Buxton SK17 7AZ (98) Map 6, 7 & 19-21 Jul noon to 6pm Free, Donations: kidneyresearchuk.org
Further information: treenaylor@yahoo.co.uk or 07786 860794 Comments

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And More...

fabulous hats and wonderful people

PRIDE PICNIC - Stone and Water Family Friendly
Buxton's Pride Picnic welcomes everyone. An afternoon of LGBTQIA+ laughter, silliness and friendship. There will be fabulous hats, games to play and the Buxton Gay Bake Off. No booking or tickets needed. Just bring a picnic and that wonderful smile, turn up and join in.
Pavilion Gardens – Swimming Pool Lawns (33n) Map 20 Jul 1pm to 4pm Free Comments

Serpentine Community Garden, Summer Sunshine

SUMMER BIZARRE - Serpentine Community Garden Family Friendly
Community stalls, crafts, plant stall, wonky veg and flower show, tea and cakes, mocktails, splat the rat, miniature garden competition, garden tours, music through the afternoon, 'Become your own Beast' mask-making or bring your own - and more...
Serpentine Community Garden (107) Map 21 Jul noon to 4pm Free Comments

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