Buxton Festival Fringe: Stats show benefits to town

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release October 16th 2008

An extensive survey of performers and audiences at this year's Buxton Festival Fringe has revealed the true extent of their expenditure in the town during this vibrant event.

This year's Fringe was the biggest ever with some 126 entrants and a huge variety of arts on offer ranging from Shakespeare to stand-up and patchwork to poetry. A detailed survey carried out by the Fringe shows that audiences spend nearly £90,000 on food and drink, over £70,000 on accommodation and over £60,000 on tickets.

Performers too made full use of the town's resources. The survey indicates that performers spent nearly £100,000 on putting on their show, entering the Fringe, booking the venue and paying for food and accommodation.

Fringe chair John Wilson comments: 'We take a good deal of satisfaction from these figures. We are all volunteers and we run on an annual budget of only £10,000 and yet we put on an arts festival that brings in more than £300,000 to the local economy.'

He was also delighted by the 'heart-warming comments' offered.* "My favourite was 'This is the best Festival I have ever attended, and I have been to a great many!' and 86 per cent who responded rated the Fringe Very Good or Excellent. I think we are right to congratulate ourselves on our best year yet and thank all our long-standing supporters including University of Derby Buxton, Trevor Osborne of the Crescent Spa Hotel Project, the Opera House and the Borough Council and so many volunteers and venues'.

The survey also revealed quite what a vast operation the Fringe has become. More than 1300 people were involved in putting on productions or events. A more detailed breakdown showed that around 40 per cent of entrants come from the local area. Locals were also well represented in audiences with about a third of those surveyed having an SK17 postcode and over 60 per cent living within an hour of Buxton.

The Fringe celebrates its 30th anniversary next year and there is an opportunity to start the celebrations early with Fringe30 on November 7, 2008 at 7.30pm at Buxton Opera House. This showcase of Fringe award winners past and present will also feature visual arts winners whose works will be on display from 6.30pm. Tickets for this exciting event - including magic, music, dance and drama - are now being sold on the Opera House booking line: 0845 127 2190.

* A sample of audience comments includes:
"Amazed at the range and quality of events"
"Fantastic variety of events and locations - long live the Fringe!"
"We come to the Festival but really enjoy the Fringe. Not only are the events very different but so are the audiences. The Fringe adds a lot to our holiday."
"Always a happy place to be - creative, buzzing, energetic, fun."