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 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.
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 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. Our programmes and flyers are printed on 100% recycled, FSC, carbon-balanced paper, now with anti-microbial protection. 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. At the Fringe Desk we recycle all unneeded paper and plastic, reuse or archive anything laminated 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. 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. In 2019 we teamed up with Day Zero, a shop in Buxton, to offer Fringe Friends a 10% discount on reusable bottles and cups there. We hope to roll forward plans we made in early 2020 to minimise single-use plastic drinks containers at the Fringe Information Desk and encourage venues to do the same. However this will depend on health guidance surrounding the pandemic.
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.
We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint, so please get in touch with your ideas!