We firmly believe that arts are for all. This applies to both our artists and audiences. We encourage performers and audience members of all abilities and backgrounds to get involved. We run a successful Community Links programme part of which gives performers the chance to run workshops and perform for schools, care homes and other community groups. Our Venues list offers information on venues' locations, facilities and accessibility. We have run workshops promoting awareness about accessibility and dementia.
Social sustainability is important to us. During the Fringe we help our volunteers, including school students, to develop their skills and promote Fringe values. We actively seek new committee members to ensure our work continues into the future. We engage with local communities – businesses, volunteers, charities, churches and so on – so as to harness local energy and maximise efficiency of effort and resources. We are also pleased that several initiatives that started in the nurturing environment of the Fringe have since become more permanent, for example the Buxton Military Tattoo which ran till 2022, and the town’s thriving comedy club, Buxton Buzz. 2020's mainly online Fringe led to sustainable new initiatives such as Chapel Arts Writing Group's new Youtube channel, which is ongoing.
The Fringe works hard to reduce the impact of the festival on the environment. We encourage audiences to make use of our comprehensive listings on the website and have introduced a Fringe app to reduce reliance on the printed programme. We review our print runs each year making every effort not to print more programmes, flyers or posters than we need. We also encourage entrants not to over-print and to be sure to take down posters at the end of the Fringe. Our programmes and flyers are printed on 100% recycled or mixed, FSC certified, carbon-balanced paper. Our locally based printer is Galloways, a fully carbon balanced print company. We recycle and reuse where we can – banners etc are used year after year and are replaced only when they are beyond credible use. This is partly a matter of financial prudence but it also reflects our attempts to reduce waste.
The Fringe supports Surfers Against Sewage’s initiative (https://plasticfree.org.uk/) to reduce avoidable plastic use, particularly single-use items, which is being led locally by Transition Buxton. We’re reducing our own limited use and supporting others associated with the Fringe to reduce theirs. In 2023, Buxton has been declared the 165th "Plastic Free Community" by Surfers Against Sewage - 1st in the High Peak! At the Fringe Desk we recycle all unneeded paper and plastic, reuse or archive anything laminated, try not to use disposable coffee cups and try to ensure the safe disposal of balloons. We do not release them en masse or use helium. The balloons used are made from Natural Rubber Latex which biodegrades in landfill. Our Fringe-branded Seabrook tote bag are made from 60% certified recycled cotton and 40% rPET (recycled plastic bottles). We often recycle in creative ways – for example by making bunting out of old flyers and carnival float decorations from materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
We encourage venues and performers to consider the environment. Our local volunteers work in ways that have a limited carbon footprint. We do not have an office (apart from the Fringe desk during the Fringe itself), we don’t drive much – in transacting Fringe business – and we try to support local businesses so as to reduce transport costs.
Sustainable travel. For the past two years, our posters have featured on local buses as part of a partnership with D&G and High Peak Buses. We are pleased to promote this environmentally-friendly form of travel and in 2023 are beginning a collaboration with Community Rail Network to encourage train travel to the Fringe as well.
We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint, so please get in touch with your ideas!
Our ethical and environmental policies will be reviewed by the Fringe Committee annually.