Arts Derbyshire


Fringe 2022 contributes well over £200,000 to the local economy

Buxton Fringe has revealed that this year’s festival has once again provided a significant financial boost to the town with combined audience and performer spending resulting in a huge contribution to the local economy.

The estimated figure was £217,331 including expenditure from performers during their stay in Buxton plus audience spend on food, accommodation and ticket sales for shows by local performers. This very conservative estimate does not include Fringe organisers’ additional local expenditure on printing, design and Fringe Information Desk wages amongst other costs.

Ticket sales were up by 110% on 2021’s Covid-affected Fringe with a total ticket sales figure of over £50,000. Taking into account audiences for free events such as Fringe Sunday, Buxton Art Trail and prestigious exhibitions at the Octagon and the Crescent, the total audience figure was estimated at over 13,000 people.

Results from the Fringe’s audience survey showed that 93% of respondents gave an approval rate of 4 or 5 out of 5. Audience feedback was overwhelmingly supportive with comments including: “Excellent as ever”, “As usual you have done a brilliant job”, “Thank you for a superb year” and “So much closer than Edinburgh but just as fun!”

63% of respondents were also attending Buxton International Festival events indicating a healthy crossover. 2023 will also see the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival returning exclusively to Buxton in a glorious summer of festivals.

The entrants’ survey was equally positive with performers praising the Fringe for its “simple and well designed” entry process as well as “brilliant” accommodation support,”very good communication” and “helpful and cheery” volunteers.

The Fringe continues to prove a big draw for Buxton with just over half of audience respondents coming from outside the SK area; visitors hailed from all over the UK including Cambridge, London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bath. 19% of entrants were from the local SK area with the rest coming from locations including London, Edinburgh, Bristol, the Midlands and the North West.

In the month of July the busy Fringe website received over a million hits. The handy Fringe App is also being increasingly well used. 29% of audience survey respondents were attending the Fringe for the first time with one visitor commenting: “So pleased we have found such a fabulous event. Will look out for it every year from now on.” There was also evidence of audience loyalty with 40% having been coming for between two and 9 years and 42% having been attending the Fringe for over 10 years.

Music, Comedy and Theatre were particularly well represented at this year’s Fringe which had a healthy total of 171 events including one online performance. Fringe Chair Stephen Walker comments: Getting the Fringe back into pre-pandemic shape was of real benefit to the town, as well as kick-starting a wonderful summer of cultural activity in Buxton.”

The Fringe committee plans to build on audience and entrants’ suggestions for the future and thanks everyone who filled in its surveys.
Next year’s Fringe is already being planned. Dates have been set as July 5-23 2023 with the Fringe website for entries on December 1 and a discounted entry fee of £55 available until the end of February.

Performers, audiences and supporters are invited to find out more, meet the Fringe Team and sing Derbyshire Carols at the open-to-all Christmas Party on Friday December 9 from 7pm at the Pump Room, Buxton.

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