Bumper Fringe Boosts Local Economy
With Buxton Fringe 2016 opening for entries on December 1, this year’s audience and entrants’ surveys estimate that 2015’s event contributed a total of nearly half a million pounds to the local economy.
The biggest Buxton Fringe to date with 174 entries resulted in some £58,000 being spent by performers during their stay in Buxton. Meanwhile estimates show that audiences spent a total of £401,000 on food, accommodation and ticket sales for shows from local performers.
Ticket sales were particularly healthy with nearly 10,000 sold, over 5000 of them at Underground Venues, which reported an increase of more than 20% on last year. The total audience figure including audiences for free events was nearly 20,000.
The Fringe’s audience survey showed a high level of satisfaction with 86% of those responding scoring 4 or 5 out of 5 for enjoyment. Over the past two years the proportion of people watching more than five shows has increased by 5% and the proportion planning to see only one, decreased by 5%. A third of 2015 respondents were attending the Fringe for the first time, a healthy sign for the future.
As noted in previous years, the Fringe appeals to both locals and those from the rest of the country and abroad. 45% of audience respondents came from the SK area whilst among the entrants 33% had a SK postcode. The audience survey included visitors from USA and Portugal whilst entrants hailed from as far afield as Japan. Among the audience, 61% were attending Buxton Festival events, indicating a strong crossover.
Comments from both audiences and performers were extremely positive. Audience feedback included: “I love the Fringe. For me it is the single best reason to live in Buxton”; “Even though I have not spent money on accommodation, I own a holiday let. I have had six bookings over the Fringe/Festival period who have booked especially for the Fringe. One party from Holland stayed an extra day and went to Festival events as well”; “We’ve seen a very varied programme, all well worth seeing”; “Although we live in Buxton, the Festival and the Fringe keep us in the town during that period”; “Much improved over the years – grown remarkably”; “Some brilliant work on show. Long live the Fringe”; “Just enjoyable”; “Amazed at tremendous amount of talent”; “It is the finest time of the Buxton calendar”.
Typical responses from Fringe entrants included: “Very pleasant working with yourself and Underground venues. Very professional”; “Very easy and a helpful, welcoming vibe”; “Enjoyed every minute this year and what a great team. Respect!”
Fringe chair Keith Savage summed up: “The Buxton Festival Fringe of 2015 felt good at the time - it was enjoyable and there were more good shows than ever. So it is good to have that feeling confirmed by evidence showing an increase in audiences, ticket sales and money flowing through the local economy.
The Fringe is good news for everyone in Buxton.”
Full information on how to enter next year’s Fringe can be found on www.buxtonfringe.org.uk.