With the Government confirming all legal restrictions on social distancing to end, we wanted to provide additional information on exactly what to expect at this year’s Ventnor Fringe.
We can’t wait to welcome you back with ten days of inspiring creativity after 15 difficult months. It’s going to be a particularly memorable moment and an extra special celebration this year. However, we know not everyone feels able to be among large crowds and while we are a relatively small event, we’ve been putting lots of planning in place to ensure everyone can take part, at a level that feels comfortable for them.
1.) The Return Of Live Music
The lifting of restrictions means the return of standing gigs and dancing! It means shows with the likes of Gengahr, Do Nothing, Los Bitchos & Billy Nomates among others are all set to go ahead. We’ll only be operating one standing venue, Harbourside, and we’ll be recommending all audiences use the NHS Track & Trace QR Code provided at the venue. We’ll also be creating an extra seating space for those who’d prefer to remain further away from the stage but still listen to the music.
2.) An Expanded Parkside
This year we’ve extended Parkside into more of Ventnor Park (It’s approx 3x the size!) to provide lots of open space for those wanting to soak up the atmosphere but keep away from the crowds. There’s lots to see and do, with live music on the Bandstand each day, a new bar, wellbeing sessions and an ever rotating selection of street theatre, buskers and traders or check out the ticketed shows in our tents.
3.) Standby Tickets Are Valid!
If you’ve bought a ‘Standby Ticket’ for any event at the Fringe, these are now valid. Venues will return to full capacity, but we’re working hard to ensure good ventilation in all of our spaces, a maximum capacity in any one indoor venue of 200, and extra hand washing facilities available across the festival.
The vast majority of performances at the Festival are under 90mins, as recommended by medical experts, and while not compulsory the wearing of masks is very much encouraged for those who would like to.
4.) More Street Theatre & Busking
If indoor venues or even tented spaces are still uncomfortable for you fear not as this year there will be more outdoor theatre and busking than ever before! Alongside daily music at Harbourside and the Bandstand in Parkside (Ventnor Park) performers will be spilling out across the town so keep your eyes peeled for acts in every direction. We’ll be publishing more information in the coming days.
5.) No Tickets On The Door – But A New Box Office In Parkside
To avoid congestion at the entrance of venues tickets for events will no longer be available on the door. You will be able to book right up until the performance online or in person from Ventnor Exchange (located 2mins walk from St. Catherine’s Church and Ventnor Arts Club) or our new Parkside Box Office, located near the main entrance to Ventnor Park and a few mins walk from The Magpie, Parkside Playhouse and Comedy & Cabaret Tent. Both festival box offices will have dedicated team members able to help you select shows to see, answer enquires and book tickets. Both will be open from 9am – 10pm each day.
6.) Looking After One Another
It goes without saying that we all need to look out for each other in these unprecedented times. Please respect those who wish to keep their distance or avoid physical contact, as well as our amazing crew and volunteers who have had to learn many new processes and work exceptionally hard this year to be able to make Ventnor Fringe take place. If you feel unwell or start displaying COVID symptoms, please don’t attend the event and seek a test first. Test kits are available completely free of charge from any chemists and a list of common symptoms can be seen on the NHS website here.
It is not compulsory to have been double vaccinated to attend the festival, but please do test regularly and whenever displaying symptoms.
7.) Support The Fringe
Love the Fringe? Please do support the event this year. As with many arts organisations around the country it has been an incredibly difficult period and despite financial support from Arts Council England and the DCMS, which we are very grateful for, there has been considerable additional costs in putting on this year’s event, and losses from the cancelled 2020 festival. Every ticket sold, drink purchased or donation made makes a huge difference and this year is more important than ever to ensure our survival and recovery for years to come. There’s nothing on the Island (heck – maybe the world!) quite like the Ventnor Fringe. With your help we can keep this truly independent, creative and community minded event for the future.