something special for North Devon
Fringe TheatreFest, now in its 17th year, is a four-day festival of comedy, drama, street-theatre, dance, music, magic and more that takes place in Barnstaple at the end of June.
Fringe TheatreFest is there to inspire people in North Devon with an exciting range of performances on their doorstep to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access. Ticket prices are low – £4 to £8 in Regular Venues, pay-what-you-will bucket-collections in outside and less formal spaces – with 100% of the ticket revenue returned to the companies.
In 2022 1,700 tickets were sold for performances in regular, ticketed venues whilst a further 1,500 attendances were recorded for performances in public spaces and informal, pay-what-you-will venues. The festival featured 152 performances from 51 theatre companies over four days of intense activity. These are lower than pre-covid figures (in 2019, 2,500 tickets for regular venues, 2,600 attendances in public spaces and pay-what-you-will venues, 270 performances from 80 companies) but compare favourably to other festivals finding their way back after two years of on-line-only activity.
For 2023 we will again host the heady mix of comedy, drama, dance and family theatre that Barnstaple has come to expect. There are wonderful local performers. There are performers from around the country drawn by the lure of the friendliest Fringe in the UK (so we are reliably informed). We hope that we will be welcoming international performers as we have in the past though Covid is still making its presence felt.
We will be working with Selladoor Theatres at the Queen’s again where we will have two Regular Venues and a further informal venue. Other confirmed Regular Venues are The Guildhall, The Baptist Hall and the Castle Centre, with the Golden Lion Tap pencilled in.
An impressive variety of individuals and institutions come together to make this extraordinary event happen. Significant collaborators include Selladoor at The Queen’s, Barnstaple Town Council, North Devon Council, Barnstaple Town Centre Management, The Bridge Trust, The Plough Arts Centre, Green Lanes Shopping Centre, Golden Lion Tap and Queen Anne’s Café.
Help in kind – including the loan of equipment – comes from many quarters including Swimbridge Jubilee Hall, Bideford College, multi story theatre company, The Monday Collective and St John’s Garden Centre.
Funding support for specific elements of the Fringe over the years has come from North Devon Community Councillor Grants, Fullabrook CIC, the National Lottery, The Bridge Trust and Rotary. Funding from North Devon Community Councillor Grants last year helped us to deliver a more environmentally sustainable event.
Support from Sponsors principally covers the costs of marketing and publicity but also a proportion of infrastructure costs – insurance, equipment and volunteer training and certification.
Volunteers supervise the venues and outside events, run the box-offices, provide the technical side, assist with publicity and are the warm and welcoming public face of Fringe TheatreFest.
Marketing and publicity activity is aimed not only at regular arts attenders, theatre groups etc but also at the wider North Devon community. The major physical marketing tools for 2023 will be 10,000 A5 leaflets, 300 A4 & 100 A3 posters and 1,500 20-page brochures. All print will be sustainably sourced and carbon neutral. The leaflets will be distributed across North Devon from mid-May. At the same time, posters will go up in libraries, schools, shops and businesses. The brochure will be available from the library and Queens Theatre a few weeks before the festival. We have a year-round presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. During the week of the festival, our gazebo is prominent in the High Street, every venue is identified with a Fringe board and a Fringe flag and outside events are also marked by a mobile Fringe flag.
mainstage@QT [Queen's Theatre]
gallery@QT [Queen's Theatre]
Golden Lion Tap
venue sponsorship includes:
All sponsorship packages can be fine-tuned to suit our sponsors' requirements.
Event: Fringe TheatreFest
Date: Thursday 22 June – Sunday 25 June 2023
Times of event: 11am – 11 pm
Activity: 90 performances in ticketed venues and approximately 100 performances outside and in informal spaces across Barnstaple Town Centre
Ticket prices: £8 / £5 concessions / £24 Frequent Fringer Voucher (for 6 shows) or pay-what-you-will bucket-collections
In support of: Fringe TheatreFest Barnstaple – a non-profit-making organisation
Insurance: Hiscox Insurance Company: £5 M public liability insurance + £10 M employee’s liability insurance
Governance: Fringe TheatreFest is a non-profit Unincorporated Association and its activities are overseen by a management committee of local volunteers with relevant professional experience.