Monday, 2 March 2015

Buxton Fringe - in New Mills, Chelmorton and Crowdecote!

Chelmorton Church

Now we don't expect everyone to be intimate with the location of all the towns and villages of northern Derbyshire - so you may have to take our word for it that some Buxton Fringe venues are a good few miles distant. We are especially pleased to welcome shows and events from these outlying venues.

Come the end of February we had 61 events scheduled already for July. We'll try and review the programme so far over the next few Blog posts but here let us concentrate on what will be taking place beyond the town boundaries.

New Mills is about 13 miles north of Buxton and sits just inside the boundary of the High Peak (Disley and Cheshire are a few yards further along the A6). New Mills has been hosting some splendid events in recent months (and Eddi Reader will be singing at the Arts Theatre on July 24th - though this isn't part of the Fringe). 

On Sunday July 12th (from 11.00am-12.30pm) the Halle Cellos will be playing at the Spring Bank Arts Centre in New Mills. Eight cellos from the internationally celebrated orchestra will be playing arrangements of opera favourites from Purcell to Puccini. Coffee and cake is included in the ticket price and it is likely that this show will sell-out quickly.

Six miles south of Buxton is the charming village of Crowdecote which sits in the upper Dove valley. The approach to the village from the A515 offers stunning views. A couple of years back the Pack Horse Inn was host to a wonderful evening of poetry. On July 24th the Packhorse Poets are back with two laureates: from Derbyshire there is Helen Mort and Gary Longden from Staffordshire (the county boundary is a short walk away). This should be a fabulous and intimate evening. The Pack Horse continues to get plenty of 5* reviews on Trip Advisor. Get there early for supper to be sure of a seat.

A little closer to Buxton is Chelmorton - a friendly village with a lovely church just four miles south of Buxton. 'Chelly' has a very strong community and it has organised its own week-long festival. From 13-19 July the village will be buzzing with a range of events. Crime writer Steven Dunne is bound to get an enthusiastic audience. Steven has written a series about DI Damen Brook who has moved from London to the quiet of the Peak District. You won't be surprised to find out that for Damen the Peak District turns out not to be so quiet.

Buxton Fringe

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Before the Flurry - and something at The Clubhouse

As our end-of-February deadline approaches we anticipate a flurry of entries for Buxton Fringe 2015. So our loins are girded in anticipation. Next week we'll be updating you on the new entries.

Meanwhile it is already obvious that the recently refurbished Old Clubhouse is going to be a hot Fringe venue this year. The Basin Street Jazz and Blues Band is doing two gigs there; they are fronted by the soulful Jules M Scott. Listen to Sugar in my bowl for a taster!

One of last delights of Fringe 2014 was Sam Slide's Trombone Tales. Well the bashful Sam was so moved by the response of two full houses he is back at the Clubhouse for 2015. 

Clubhouse regulars Club Acoustic are putting on a special session for the Fringe on July 15th. More Clubhouse jazz is on the way we are reliably informed - so watch this space.

In the meantime there is much going on in towns and villages all over Derbyshire thanks to Live and Local. Soonest, in the High Peak, is Mambo Jambo - an acoustic roots duo - playing in Chinley on 28 February. Blair Dunlop is at Wormhill Village Hall on 16 May. Fringe favourite Ginny Davis is in Alfreton on 20 March with a couple of plays from her Ruth Rich saga. The brilliant Lady Maisery - if you like The Unthanks then this is for you - are at Great Longstone on 26 Feb and Repton two days later. There is much, much more. Do check out the Live and Local site.

Buxton Fringe

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Monday, 9 February 2015

This thing gets serious now.

Today is February 9. That means that if you plan to enter Buxton Fringe 2015 you have a little over 2 weeks to take advantage of our lowest-priced fee. Enter before February 28th for just £50 - and get maximum exposure on our website. A good number of shows are there already basking in the sunshine with plenty of space to spread out. If you can't finalise your show before the end of the month there is still plenty of time to get your entry in before our closing date of April 19th.

If you want to put your show on at Underground Venues - back at the Fringe for the 10th year - then check out their website. Underground Venues runs the two performance spaces in the cellars of the Old Hall Hotel and has some spaces at the Pavilion Arts Centre. UV will be accepting entries up until 23 March before deciding on their full programme for 2015.

The Buxton Festival programme looks to be pretty much complete: see a summary here. Tickets go on general sale for the Festival on April 1st - but become a Friend of the Festival to get first pick.

Previously we've encouraged you to get out to Arbor Low and New Mills; this time we suggest you spend a bit more time in Buxton. The town is surrounded by woodland - much of which is cared by for by a local charity, the Buxton Civic Association. There is a splendid 10 mile walk which links up the woodland. The Ring of Trees route is shown on the map linked here. The walk is worth doing at any time of the year. The BCA also maintains Poole's Cavern - usually a Fringe venue - and you can pick up a copy of the Ring of Trees route from the information office at the Cavern.

Buxton Fringe

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Monday, 2 February 2015

Seeing the Bigger Picture at Buxton Fringe

Grinlow Art winners (credit: Ian J. Parkes)

This is an exciting time of year as events start rolling in to the Fringe, the list of upcoming shows becoming longer every week. Here at Fringe Towers we also get to hear about events in the pipeline and we’ve recently had some exciting Visual Arts news.

I’m happy to tell you that last year’s Fringe Award-winning Grinlow Art and Storytelling Trail, a magical experience in Grinlow woods, will be back for 2015, a crowd-funding exercise having proved particularly successful. Organiser Ruby Moon tells me they will be running some creative workshops both before and during the Trail. They are also on the look out for storytellers for the event. If you would like more information, think you can help or would like to put an installation on the trail, please contact Ruby on

More great news comes from artist Linda Rolland who is helping the Buxton Art Trail get going again for this year. A Fringe Award-winning sensation back in 2012, it involved a host of exhibitions around town and in artists’ own houses. In a few weeks time BAT will be making the call for entries with the event set to run from Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26. Anyone wanting to be included on the mailing list or to offer help with organisation is welcome to email Linda on with a subject heading of BAT 2015.

As ever with the Fringe, anyone can do anything – I am hoping to have some of my own paintings exhibited as part of BAT and will certainly have some at the Burbage Art Group’s annual exhibition which is already listed on our website. The Group, of which I am a member, meets weekly at the Burbage Institute and has had several artist nominations at the Fringe Awards. Last year’s nominee Laura Critchlow has gone on to have one of her mini paintings selected by the Royal Society of Miniature Painters for an international art exhibition in the Mall Galleries, London.

So the one listing we have in Visual Arts only hints at the bigger picture, as it were. It is fun to hear what our artists and performers are getting up to. If you have some behind the scenes stories you would like to share with myself or Keith please get in touch via the Contacts page on our website.

Buxton Fringe

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Made in Derbyshire

Derbyshire poet laureate 2013-2015: Helen Mort

Made in Derbyshire
Rarer than Blue John and ten times as bright,
wild as the rain over Burbage at night,
stronger than leather from Lennon’s at Stoney,
clear as Mam Tor when the sky thins slowly,
sweet as the tarts that Bakewell refines,
older than the spirits of Magpie Mine,
lively as summer: a first well-dressing,
the streets all ribboned, the sun’s blessing,
more eloquent than a poem could be…
I can’t make the hills, but these hills made me.

© Helen Mort, Derbyshire Poet Laureate 2013-15

If you want to know what is happening in Derbyshire then Arts Derbyshire has a good calendar of events. If you are looking beyond the arts world then try Made in Derbyshire

If your Derbyshire event is not listed on either of these sites then write to: or

Buxton Fringe

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Calendar of UK Fringes - 2015

We don't claim that this list is complete or 100% accurate. If you know of omissions or inaccuracies tell us and we'll happily correct it. But as it stands this is the best list we can put together of Fringes that are actually happening in the UK in 2015. In one or two cases websites need updating. To get details of these events - either as a would-be performer or as audience - the World Fringe Network directory is a good starting point. You may need to do a bit of googling to find websites if the WFN links don't work.

March: Folkestone - a series of mini-festivals starting in March
April: Mayfield, E Sussex (30 April-3May)
May: Brighton (1-31 May)
        Pink Fringe (part of Brighton Festival and Fringe)
        Wandsworth (1-17 May)
        Chelsea (16 May-7 June)
        Bath (22 May-7 June)
        Oxford (22 May-7 June)
        Pulse, Ipswich (28 May-6 June)
June: Grassington (12-27 June)
         Ludlow (13 June-5 July)
         Glastonbury (19-30 June)
         Barnstaple (25-28 June)
July: Greater Manchester (1-31 July)
        Buxton (8-26 July)
        Reading (15-19 July)
        Henley (20-26 July)
        Milton Keynes
August: Sidmouth (1-5 August)
            Camden (3-30 August)
            Edinburgh (7-31 August)
            Free Fringe Festival (Edinburgh, 7-31 August)
            Stroud (Bank Holiday weekend)
            Ventnor (11-16 August)
            Brackley, Northants
            North Berwick Fringe By The Sea
October: Canterbury (17-31 October)
             South Devon
November: Fringe! (London film festival)

Surprisingly there appear to be no UK Fringes in September.

Buxton Fringe

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A UK Fringe Tour

Take a look at this link if you will: list of UK Fringes

This shows that there are around 60 UK Fringes. Edinburgh is in a class of its own in terms of size and reputation, of course. Second biggest is probably Brighton. Buxton may well be third. Our simple point is that you are never far away from a Fringe festival (not between May-September anyway). For those of you that do Facebook you might find the UK Fringe Festivals site helpful. If you visit the page please 'like' and 'share' it.

Chrome Hill -

Apparently it is going to snow an awful lot in Derbyshire over the next 24 hours. I'll try and put together a UK Fringe calendar for 2015 and post it here. It could be like the Observer Book of Fringes. It could encourage you to attend or perform in all manner of unlikely places.

Once you've done the UK you can get a bigger map and tackle Delft, Prague, the Azores, Reykjavik, Washington, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

Buxton Fringe

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