Ventnor Fringe

The Isle of Wight's multi award winning festival

Quivers Wins Audience Choice Award!

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Popular Island drag artist Quivers has been revealed as the winner of the Ventnor Fringe’s Rouse Ltd Audience Choice Award, winning the coveted trophy and £500 prize.

Over 1,200 votes were received in the annual competition for audiences favourite act at the festival, with runners up including EarsPeeled and Jack Clay’s Comedy Club. 

Artist Registrations Now Open

Ventnor Fringe will be returning for its special 15th edition this year from 19th-28th July and artist registrations are now open for anyone who would like to bring a show to this year’s festival.

Modelled on a famous Edinburgh Fringe, hundreds of performers took part in 2023, spanning circus, theatre, comedy, cabaret, music and visual arts, in pop up venues and spaces throughout Ventnor and a new box office record was set, with 12,000 tickets sold. 

‘Fringe’ Festivals are open to anyone to take part, both amateur and professional, and in particular are popular as spaces to test out new material. Co-Director Jack Whitewood explained “We were really excited to see big names like Richard Herring and Sophie Ducker testing out new material last year, as well as Ahir Shah going on to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award, following a work in progress preview in Ventnor” 

Other alumni of the festival have gone on to win MOBO’s, Grammys and Writers Guild Awards as well as commissions for Netflix, BBC and ITV.

This year, an Artists Handbook has been published providing lots of advice and information about how the festival operates and artists are reminded to apply before the deadline of 31st March 2024. Find out more at:

Fringe Top Tips: Music Picks

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With so much choice it can be difficult to decide what to see! To help, Sam from Ventnor Exchange has picked out a few musical acts for when you want to get your groove on!

Earspeeled are back for the second year running after their sold out success last year with their Day at the Fringe show: a day festival within a festival! Headlined by Coventry based alt/indie band FEET, and featuring Fizzy Orange and Grandma’s House (both of which have graced the stage at Strings Bar & Venue), as well as Island favourites The Optimists, Froglands PK, and so many more. This isn’t one to be missed! – Saturday 22nd July 2pm-11pm at the Big Top (TICKETS)

BC Camplight

Following the release of his sixth studio album, The Last Rotation of Earth (available instore at the Ventnor Exchange or online on our website!), Philadelphian indie rocker BC Camplight makes his debut performance on the Island. With support from pianist, rapper, and Ventnor native Jay Eatwell after his breakout performance on Channel 4’s The Piano, this will be a Saturday night to remember! – Saturday 29th July 8pm-11pm at the Big Top (TICKETS)


Gengahr, purveyors of some of indie’s catchiest earworms, will arrive at the Big Top with one goal in mind: to get you dancing! Following the recent release of their fourth studio album Red Sun Titans (available instore at the Ventnor Exchange or online on our website!), this gig is for fans of upbeat, trippy indie pop/rock, à la Alt-J, Foals, or Bombay Bicycle Club. – Friday 28th July 8pm-11pm at the Big Top (TICKETS)

The Aretha Franklin Story

Brought to you by British R&B/soul vocalist Cleopatra Higgins, The Aretha Franklin Story will take you on a high energy journey through the life and career of one of the biggest voices in the history of popular music. After sell out shows at Edinburgh Fringe four years running, as well as similar runs at Adelaide and Brighton Fringe, show some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and don’t miss out!

Friday 28th July, Saturday 29th July, & Sunday 30th July 3pm-5pm at the Big Top (TICKETS)

The Cat Skellington Quartet

Take as close to an authentic trip back to 1920s France as you can get without a time machine with Isle of Wight gypsy jazz wonders The Cat Skellington Quartet as they dazzle you with a mix of classic Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli repertoire as well as a selection of early American jazz rarities. The beautiful setting of St. Catherine’s Church will allow you to fully appreciate the incredible musicianship on display here as you are immersed in the delicate sounds of acoustic instruments played at an extremely high level.

Saturday 29th July 7:30-9pm at St. Catherine’s Church (TICKETS)

Fringe Top Tips: Sold Out Artists Share Their Favourite Shows

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We caught up with 5 acts with sold out shows at this year’s Fringe to hear their recommendations for what else to see at the festival. If anyone has good tips, it’s good to be these folks!

It can be annoying when shows sell out, but with so many different performances on offer there is always something to see at Ventnor Fringe, and sometimes it’s an act you’ve not heard of that becomes your favourite of the festival.

Benji Waterstones is an NHS psychiatrist and award-winning comedian who’s show ‘You Don’t Have To Be Mad To Work Here’ was one of the very first to sell out this year. His top pick? “I’d say Vittorio Angelone, and not just because he’s a good egg who I play football with. He’s like the Matt Le Tissier of comedy; bags of natural talent, no censor, and only ever moments away from controversy. ” Vittorio is an Italian-Irish comedian from Belfast. In 2022 he sold out his debut run at the Edinburgh Fringe and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the prestigious Dave Comedy Awards. 

Ahir Shah is a bit of a Ventnor veteran, performing at Ventnor Exchange and the Fringe many times over the years. He’s back with a full length solo show for the first time since 2019, which has predictably sold out ahead of the festival (although you can still get tickets see Pick of the Fringe which he curates and hosts)

Ahir told us “There are a bunch of fantastic comedians appearing at the Ventnor Fringe, and not enough space to recommend all of them, so I thought I’d recommend a show I won’t be able to see but wish I could: Sara Barron: Why Am I Mean To My Mom?” Sara is a staggeringly funny and engaging comedian, as those who’ve seen her before or listened to her podcast Firecrotch & Normcore will know. Also we had a conversation a couple of years ago during which she described the process of falling in love with her husband, and it was so beautiful and perfect that I still think about it two or three times a week. That probably won’t be in the show though, I imagine she’ll just call him a dick and then describe a time she was mean – to her very own mom!”

Sally Perry is a local journalist from OnTheWight which last year teamed up with the Book Bus to bring together an expert panel of entrepreneurs, comedians and weirdos to crack ‘The Secret to Happiness’. This year’s follow up ‘How To Survive The Apocalypse’ sounds altogether darker, maybe that’s why ticket sold out so quick!

Sally explained “There is so much to choose from that it makes picking one act really hard, but I would have to say Bromance. Just from seeing Thorne perform previously on his cyr wheel is enough motivation to want to check out this five star circus about camaraderie and affection. The photos from the performance give you a flavour of how exhilarating a show it’s going to be.

Jake Oldershaw grew up on the Island before moving away to run theatre collective Untied Artists. In ‘The Head Gardener’ he returns to the Island in a collaboration with his brother Warren, exploring personal tales of why gardening is so important for mental health; design, draught and bring to life a unique and beautiful garden. It’s fully booked but Jake’s top tip is The Aretha Franklin Story’ in the Big Top.  “Despite doing VFringe a few times we’ve never got into that venue, and this promises to be a soulful delight. It’s fantastic that Ventnor is attracting tried and tested shows like this one.”

Finally we caught up with Joe Plumb, who has hit the hat trick selling out his show for a third year in a row! Another original creation inspired by local idiosyncrasies ‘Bob – The Half A Sausage Musical’ explores a certain famous person on the Isle of Wight.

When we asked Joe Plumb who he’d recommend he replied instantly “The hardest working performer on the Island, Quivers is back at Ventnor Fringe with a hilarious new stand up show all about the struggles of adulting! I love how Quivers packs their shows with the silliest one-liners, side-splitting songs and then, when you’re not looking, tackles some big issues that can really hit home. Pop on your best leopard print top and sparkly shoes, grab a bottle of Prosecco with the gal pals and get some of this. I cannot recommend Eat, Slay, Love- a Quivers Stand Up Show enough- it’s so good, I might even go and watch!”

So there you have it, personal recommendations and top picks from a collection of this year’s most popular artists.

Fringe Top Tips: 6 Great Shows For Families

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Bringing children or grandchildren to the Fringe? Check out this pick of 6 family shows we’re particularly excited about!

For this list we’ve put together shows we think would work well for both younger children and early teens as well as being something parents and grandparents can enjoy so there’s really something for everyone on a full family day out!

Witty Look

Winner of Japan’s Children and Performing Arts Expo 2019 and featuring a former Unicycle World Champion, WITTY LOOK are taking the world by storm, with a show that fuses circus with Manga cartoons to deliver a masterclass in the universal language of laughter. 

Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd July / 14:30hrs / The Magpie / Book Tickets

Happy Daze Circus

Returning for a third year, come and experience a circus spectacular from Let’s Circus! Witness feats of skill, strength and awe, in a feel good cabaret to feed the soul, perfect for all ages.

The international cast returns with both familiar and new faces (Including a certain balloon act) in a brand new show! Two time Ventnor Fringe Audience Choice Award Nominees.

The company are also running FREE circus workshops. 

Tuesday 25th – Saturday 29th July / 14:30hrs  + 17:30hrs on Sat / The Magpie / Book Tickets


When Seska comes to town, kids laugh out loud, dads f*rt out loud, and mums faint at his feet! Crazier than finding a penguin in your fridge, turbo-charged Seska throws buckets of happiness into the air in this brilliantly inventive magic show for all ages. Entertaining crowds from Mumbai to Trinidad, and a firm favourite at Ventnor Fringe for many years!

Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th July / 12:00hrs / The Nest / Book Tickets

Darryl J. Carrington presents “Out of the Box”

Prepare to be amazed and entertained with ‘Out of the Box,’ a show that pushes the boundaries of traditional circus and takes audiences on a journey through a world of imagination and wonder.

In ‘Out of the Box,’ Darryl brings his unique style and vision to the stage, incorporating everything from traditional circus skills to modern technology to create a truly innovative and captivating performance. His juggling routines are both skillful and hilarious, and his comedic timing and physical comedy leave audiences in stitches.

Friday 28th – Sunday 30th July / 11:00hrs / The Big Top / Book Tickets

St Catherine’s Gigantic Gala

A family friendly extravaganza featuring artists from across the festival in a special variety show aimed at all ages including children. This is a relaxed performance.

Performers include magician Angus Baskerville, a Warwickshire based performer who has ADHD and autism and magic has been his vehicle to triumph over adversity.

Even better, all proceeds from this event will be donated to St Catherine’s School, a Ventnor based charity that provides specialist care, education and therapy to young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Sunday 30th July / 17:00hrs / The Magpie / Book Tickets

Peter Pan

Join Slapstick Picnic for a theatrical treat like no other as they whip up a three hander version of JM Barrie’s classic play Peter Pan.

Let your imagination soar as we dish out this timeless tale of hapless pirates, feral children and a particularly punctual reptile. This show isn’t just for kids, our brilliant buffoonery will have picnickers of all ages cackling into their coleslaw. Trust us, this is one flight of fancy you don’t want to miss.

Sunday 30th July / 14:30hrs & 19:30hrs / The Magpie / Book Tickets

Fringe Top Tips: Your Top 17 FAQ Answered!

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How close together are the festival venues? What’s a Culture Pass, and can I bring my dog? We answer your most frequently asked questions!

Today we’ve looked through the email and phone logs to put together the ultimate list of the most frequently asked questions with answers to them all! Got a question that’s not been listed? Feel free to get in touch by sending us an email or calling the box office. 


Is there a single ‘all inclusive’ Ventnor Fringe ticket? 

No, all events at Ventnor Fringe are ticketed individually so you can pick and choose whatever you’d like to see, and set your own budget. There are also loads of free shows and events to explore.

Why isn’t there the option for an all inclusive Ventnor Fringe ticket? 

Partly because the size of different venues varies considerably. Our smallest venue has a capacity of 10, and the largest 500, so we couldn’t guarantee which shows you could get into!

Secondly, the majority of the money from every ticket sold goes directly to the artist you are watching, so in choosing who to see you’re deciding who to support. Artists who do well are likely to return so the audience helps shape what the programme of the festival will look like. 

Do you charge booking fees?

No, we’re very proud to be one of the few events not to charge any booking fees at all. 

Can I get a refund/cancel my booking?

From the moment that the transaction is completed, all Ventnor Fringe tickets are non-refundable unless a show is cancelled or the particulars of the show change in a substantial way (For example, the date of the performance is changed) that results in you being unable or unwilling to attend, in which case we will let you know and reimburse the price of the tickets as soon as possible.

Can I amend by booking?

Tickets can be changed for a different date of the same show but will incur a £1 fee per ticket. This can only be done over the phone or in person at Ventnor Exhange of the Fringe Village Box Office Tent. Unfortunately we can’t exchange tickets for different shows.


Do I need to print my tickets?

In general when booking in person, over the phone or online you will be sent ‘e-tickets’ to the email address you provide. We do not post physical tickets in an effort to reduce waste.

All Ventnor Fringe venues will accept digital copies displayed on a phone or tablet to avoid you having to print tickets at home. If you loose your tickets you will need to show ID to be allowed entry. This must be a Passport, Driving Licence or Pass Card.

Physical tickets are available on request when booking in person from Ventnor Exchange if you do require these. 


Do babies need tickets?

You do not need to book tickets for babies ‘in arms’ who will be allowed into performances for free. Anyone who requires a seat will require a ticket. Generally we consider this to be those aged 2+ 

Do you offer concession prices?

Each individual show decides its own ticket prices and any concessions they want to offer. There are often discounts for children (normally this is offered right up to those aged under 25) and group bookings. 

Can I book tickets on the door?

Tickets can be booked online right up until the event, or until they sell out! If buying in person you can book tickets during the event from Ventnor Exchange or the Fringe Village Box Office tent at the main entrance to Ventnor Park. You cannot buy tickets on the doors of individual venues except for ‘Pay What You Can’ shows and the Silent Disco. 

At The Event 

Are age restrictions for events enforced? 

For theatre, comedy and arts events the age ratings of 5+, 12+ and 16+ are given as guidance to help parents, but we allow audiences to make informed decisions about what they feel is appropriate. 

For some standing gigs in the Big Top there is an age rating of 16+ and those aged under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Events which are 18+ will be enforced and ID may be required. This includes some gigs, comedy, cabaret and burlesque shows.

Can I walk between the different venues?

Most venues are centred within a 10-15mins walk from the town centre, or in the Fringe Village, which is located at Ventnor Park, approx 20mins walk from the town. 

There are a small number of ‘pop up’ venues and events slightly further apart. It’s about 40mins walk from Bonchurch (furthest east) to Ventnor Botanic Garden (furthest west) 

I’m going to arrive late, is that ok?

If you arrive late for an event for which you have tickets, you may not be allowed to enter. The venue decides whether or not to admit latecomers. It is your responsibility to arrive before or at the advertised start time. No refunds will be granted for refusal of entry to an event due to late arrival on the part of the customer.

Ventnor is particularly busy during the festival, and this affects travel times so please make sure you have enough time to get to your show. Often it will be quicker to walk than drive between venues. 

Can I bring my dog?

Well behaved dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas, bars and box offices. However only guide dogs are allowed into performance venues.  

Please note dogs will not be allowed in St Catherine’s Church for The Maker’s Market this year.

Are there any free events?

Yes, there are loads of free events taking place everyday as well as exhibitions and buskers round the town. When in doubt good locations to head to are the Fringe Square, outside St Catherine’s Church, and the Fringe Village in Ventnor Park.

You can check out listings for free events (more being added all the time) here

Culture Pass

What is the Culture Pass?

If you’re going to see a lot of shows at the festival it might be worth becoming a Culture Pass holder. This costs £29.99/year and gets you ‘2for1’ discounts to lots of events at the Fringe. You can see which events offer this to decide if it would be good value for money on the booking pages of our website.  

When booking with the Culture Pass discount you need to make sure you book using the same name and email address that you signed up with or your tickets may be void. The second person you take can be whoever you like!

What is an Unlimited Pass?

Unlimited Pass is similar to Culture Pass but offers more benefits and is designed for those who want to support Ventnor Exchange and our work. It costs £9.99/month or £14.99/month for a ‘Duo’ pass and gets you free entry to all shows at Ventnor Exchange throughout the year, as well as to a selection of events at Ventnor Fringe.  


Do you offer any free tickets for personal assistants? What accessible facilities are there? 

Yes we do and we’ve created a dedicated page with information about this available here. If you have any feedback or feel there are things we could do to make the event more accessible we’d love to hear your feedback. We can be contacted by email ( phone (01983 716767) or in person at Ventnor Exchange which is open everyday from 10am.  

Backstage Opportunities for 14-25 Year Olds

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Aged 14-25 and want to go behind the scenes and work backstage? We’ve teamed up with Brave Island to offer some amazing opportunities 

Brave Island is an online platform created by Ventnor Exchange to provide mentoring, funding, experiences and training for young people interested in the creative industries. With over 350 members it’s the creative network for young people on the Isle of Wight.

Join The Fringe Review Team!

14-17 Year Olds 

Aged 14-17 and interested in going backstage at Ventnor Fringe Festival? We’re offering the chance to watch a load of shows, explore the festival, and meet performers, all for free! As a member of the Fringe Review Team you’ll work in a small group to produce a podcast and online content about your experiences to be shared to Ventnor Fringe audiences.

Over the course of two days you’ll get free tickets to watch a variety of shows and learn all about how a festival works, as well as meeting artists, crew, staff, and performers who you’ll have the chance to interview.

You’ll be working together to create content for a podcast about your experience at Ventnor Fringe, as well as having the chance to write up some reviews/articles and social media posts. Your content will be published on Ventnor Fringe’s official website and social media!

This is a great opportunity to see loads of stuff for free, learn more about festivals and events, and make new friends!

Find out more and apply here


18-25 Year Olds 

For those aged over 18 we’re also offering the chance to join the Fringe Review team in a slightly different format. You’ll work in a small group to produce the Fringe Review Newspaper documenting your experiences, reviews and interviews, to be shared to Ventnor Fringe audiences.

Over the course of the festival, you’ll get to watch loads of different shows, as well as meeting artists, crew, staff, and performers who you’ll have the chance to interview. You’ll be using your time at Ventnor Fringe to put together content for the newspaper, which will be released every three days during the event.

We’ll create an itinerary for each day, but you’ll be given a press pass to give you free access to any of the events at Ventnor Fringe to be able to create content. You’ll have the freedom to go and explore the festival, with set meeting points throughout the day to come together with the rest of the team and put together your content for the newspaper.

Find out more and apply here

Darkfield Placements

Want to work backstage on a professional theatre production? We have two paid placements for 18-25 year olds interested in Set Design or Stage Management, working with renowned production company Darkfield, who create cutting edge immersive experiences inside shipping containers!

You’ll be working with the Darkfield team to create their new show ARCADE, which previews at Ventnor Fringe before transferring to Edinburgh.

Darkfield transform shipping containers into realistic sets, and use binaural 360 degree sound (3D audio), complete darkness and a variety of sensory effects, to put each audience member at the centre of an intense story. It’s like a mix between a theatre show, being inside a video game, and being on a ride.

Their new show, ARCADE, is inspired by the nostalgic 8-bit aesthetic of 1980’s video games, and explores themes of free will and the evolving relationship between players and avatars.


Paid Set Design Placement (18-25)

This placement is a great opportunity to develop some practical skills, contribute to the build of the show, and gain valuable real world experience working on an innovative new theatre show. You’ll be working with the build team to ensure the safe construction and install of a temporary venue. Throughout the process, you’ll work closely with the Production Manager following their guidance and adhering to safety protocols. This placement opportunity would provide you with practical experience in carpentry, construction techniques, and teamwork, allowing you to develop valuable skills in the field.

Your responsibilities during this placement will include:

Complete various scenic and painting tasks during the build process

Assisting with the build team to install the internal walls to the container

Work with the technical team to better understand the practical considerations when designing the set

Assist with the get in and placement of the ARCADE units during the get in

Assist with various other get in tasks as required

Assist with the get out and dismantling of internal build of the container

There is a set fee of £500, to cover your time and expenses. Find out more, including dates, and apply here 


Paid Stage Manager Placement 

This is a great opportunity to work as part of the technical team running the show, develop skills using show control technology, gain valuable real world experience working as part of the backstage team on an immersive theatre show. There’s no actors in this show, it all takes place through headphones and other sensory effects, your job responsibilities will include:

Participate in the get in and get out: loading/unloading the van, running in cables, helping check all the arcade machines work.

Shadow the technical manager working on the show, understand safety considerations during the performance, and learn the show running.

Run the rig check at the start of the day. Ensure all headphones, lights and arcade machines are working. Flag any issues or concerns with the technical manager.

Learn the power up and power down process – under supervision of the Technical Manager.

Participate in show reporting documentation

This is a paid role, with a day rate of £100 to cover your time and expenses. Find out more, including dates, and apply here 

Volunteer At The Fringe

Another great way to get involved with the festival is to volunteer! If your over 18 you can apply to join the team, with common roles including helping out in the Box Offices and Stewarding, helping audiences in and out of venues and ensuring shows start on time.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, feel more involved with the event and a way to see lots of different shows, including some you might not otherwise have chosen to go and see. 

You don’t have to be available for the whole duration of the festival. You can volunteer on any specific days or evenings that work for you. 

Sign up here

Ventnor Fringe: 1 Month To Go!

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The countdown has begun with just a month to go until Ventnor Fringe returns!

Hundreds of artists are busy preparing work to showcase at the festival, from painters and sculptors to musicians and actors, including many testing out and premiering new material for the first time. We caught up with a handful of performers heading to the event…

“Extraordinary memories are made for me at each Fringe.”

2019: Experiencing the amazing Ines Sampaio perform ‘The Trial’ at Hygeia House.

2021: Stubbornly sheltering from torrential rain at Parkside Bar, drinking and chatting with wonderful creatives all day as it was the only whole day off I had that week.

2022: Telling my friends that in six months’ time I would be becoming a Dad.

This year I am very excited to be bringing my debut solo show, ‘Fake It Till You break It!’, to Fringe’s brand new venue ‘Boniface Studios’, and trying to catch as much as possible before heading up the hill to read my little man a bedtime story.

Andrew Butcher, Poet & Performer in ‘Fake It Till You break It! / Boniface Studios (The Hall) / 3pm / Sat 22nd & Sun 23rd of July / BOOK TICKETS

“Ventnor Fringe is bloomin brilliant!”

Untied Artists return to the fringe for a third time this summer, and this time it’s personal! Our show, The Head Gardener, looks into the benefits of gardening on mental health, and is performed by me and my brother Warren.

We’re Caulkhealds (born on the island), but I don’t get chance to come back much these days so it’s always great to combine performing at the fringe with a holiday back home.

Ventnor’s got everything – stunning coastal walks, the park and botanical gardens, the brilliant beach…Since we first brought a show to the fringe in 2011 it’s gone from strength to strength and we can’t wait to take advantage of seeing some of the other acts ourselves.

Jake Oldershaw, Theatre Maker and Actor performing in The Head Gardener / Boniface Studios (The Hall) / Weds 26th July / 3pm / BOOK TICKETS 

“Will definitely treat ourselves to a slap up meal at the Spyglass”

My wife and I first visited Ventnor in October when I performed at Quay Arts in Newport. It was my first time back on the Isle since a day trip when I was a student at Portsmouth 40 years ago! Our day in Ventnor was very wet so we decided to return this summer. As well as performing my show I’m looking forward to getting to know the place better. Will definitely treat ourselves to a slap up meal at the Spyglass and tea and cakes at the lovely Better Days café. Hope to take in a lot of shows too!

Mark Stratford, Writer & performer of Macready! Dickens’ Theatrical Friend /Boniface Studios (The Hall) / 5pm / Sat 29th July / BOOK TICKETS

“I can’t wait to play the Fringe again”

… this is my second year and the band and I are really excited about trying out some tricky and playful new tunes!

As an Islander I love meeting new and previous gig goers and hearing their thoughts about the songs they’ve enjoyed afterwards. Also, this event gives me a chance to explore avenues in spoken word and the theme of nature that I love in the beautiful Ventnor location. Plus, we may switch up the traditional seating layout in Holy Trinity Church to add to the experience for those coming so watch this space!

Nina Ross. jazz singer / Holy Trinity Church / 7.30pm / Thurs 27th July / BOOK TICKETS

Fringe Top Tips: How To Fringe For Less Than £10 A Day

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Is it possible to do the Fringe for less than £10 a day? We got our team on the case to see if it can be done.

One of the great things about the Fringe is you can pick and choose what to see, setting your own budget. But we wanted to put this to the test to see if we could make a great itinerary for less than £10 a day! Here we start with the first weekend of the festival and an example of the sort of activity you could get up to.

Day 1


Kick off the festival with a trip to Art_House_Life, a residential house at 35 Madeira Road which each year is completely transformed into an amazing pop up gallery space. This time they are opening 2 floors showcasing recent paintings, collages, assemblages, drawings & 3D artworks by Albedo Marz being displayed exclusively for Ventnor Fringe! Entry is free but you need to book here.


Continue the art trail with a trip past the Ventnor Giant (A three story mural created for the Fringe back in 2018) to Better Days Caffe to check out the Operation Geranium Exhibition.  Then it’s down to the seafront to watch Taroo – a free performance by Moroccan circus performer Said Mouhssine – a free runner, stage director, actor and stuntman who has created a special performance which will take place on Ventnor Esplanade to start the festival off!


Head out to the Fringe Village at Ventnor Park to see the amazing Flamingods in The Big Top! Definitely a party band that will appeal to fans of Tame Impala, Los Bitchos or King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. It’s a ‘pay what you want’ ticket price from as little as £5. We expect we won’t want the night to end so we’re budgeting to stay on for the Silent Disco afterwards! Tickets cost £3 available on the door.

Running total at the end of Day 1: £8

Day 2


Grab a cup of tea from Ventnor Exchange (£1!) then head over the road to the new Fringe Square, listen to some buskers and check for any bargains to be found at The Maker’s Market in St Catherine’s Church. Be sure to spend some time soaking up the atmosphere at The Book Bus, a beautiful 1930’s Parisian bus transformed into a book shop and quiet space to read and relax.


Take a stroll down to the Fringe Village in Ventnor Park and listen to some more music on The Bandstand, play some games or take part in a free circus workshop outside The Magpie at 3.30pm.


Treat yourself to a show! There’s loads to choose from but we’ve opted for ‘The Big Fringe Variety Show‘ which offers a mixed bill with a range of cabaret and burlesque acts from across the festival, hosted by breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2 Ginny Lemon. Ticket £15 with no booking fees!

Running total at the end of Day 2: £24 (including a cup of tea!) 

Day 3


Check out Ventnor’s newest creative space Peer Studios where prolific Island artist Jo Hummel who has brought together 8 contemporary British Artists in a special exhibition called ‘Wish You Were Here’ with different responses to the iconic Great British seaside holiday.


Pop into Ventnor Arts Club where ‘VENT’ will be hosting free authors talks everyday. On Sunday at noon the guests include Canadian novelist Harold Rhenisch and German poet Petra Hilgers.

If that sounds too heavy head up to the Fringe Village for free workshops and events running throughout the day.


It’s back to the Big Top for The Sunday Shindig, headlined by barn-stomping Bristolians Ushti Baba. Promising riotous folk fusing hypnotic pan-European melodies with modern dance rhythms it looks set to be a very fun night! It’s another ‘Pay What You Can’ show with tickets from £5. Bargain!  

Grand Total spent over three days: £29 

Tips For Keeping Costs Down

1.) £2 Bus Fares

Bus prices are currently capped at £2 per journey, so save yourself the fuel and parking costs and head to Ventnor on the bus. 

2.) Pay What You Can Shows 

Look out for a range of ‘Pay What You Can’ shows where you can choose your ticket price based on what you can afford. Most offer tickets from as little as £5. We highlighted some of the best to look out for here. 

3.) Invest in a Culture Pass 

If you’re planning to see a lot of shows and you’re good at booking in advance, it might be worth investing in a Culture Pass which costs £29.99 and gets you access to loads of ‘2for1’ deals. 

4.) Bring your friends along!

Many shows offer discounts for groups, so bring your family or friends along with you and make some big savings.

5.) Free Fringe 

Grab a copy of the Fringe Review paper from Ventnor Exchange or any of the main venues for daily listings of the free events taking place around the festival. There is live music performances in the Fringe Village and Fringe Square everyday. 

Fringe Top Tips: 4 Amazing ‘Pay What You Can’ Shows

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Looking for an affordable show to see at the Fringe? Want to help others see more at the festival? Today we’ve picked four great events with a ‘Pay What You Can’ ticket price!

For all of these events you can choose how much you’d like to pay for a ticket, with options between £5 – £25 available.  Choose whatever you feel comfortable with and able to afford. Pretty cool right?


Combining Eastern and African influences, Flamingods are international psych explorers who will be bringing their unique sound to a special opening night concert in the Big Top.

Their 2019 release ‘Levitation’ released on Moshi Moshi Records was inspired largely by the disco, funk and psychedelic sounds coming out of the Middle East and South Asia in the 70s and a regular play in the background at Ventnor Exchange. New releases have been teased this month ahead of a new album slated for release in Autumn 2023.

Check out videos for Dreams (On The Strip), Olympia & Marigold 

Friday 21st July / 20:00hrs / The Big Top / Book Tickets

Sunday Shindig with Ushti Baba

A very special knees up the Sunday Shindig is brand new concept for 2023,  headlined by barn-stomping Bristolians Ushti Baba.

Offering riotous folk, fusing hypnotic pan-European melodies with modern dance rhythms that will get everyone moving! You can expect an energetic thrill-filled musical journey from this  Bristol-based 7-piece has been tearing up venues and festivals at home and abroad since 2013. 

They’ll be supported by The Kahunas, who use violin, guitar and vocals to create a stomping dance beat and have previously supported 3 Daft Monkeys, Tankus The Henge and The Laylines.

Check out videos for Ushti Baba & The Kahunas 

Sunday 23rd July / 20:00hrs / The Big Top / Book Tickets

Ben Ashurst: Three Cheese Straws For A Pound

Ben Ashurst is struggling. Now nearly 30, he should be getting his act together, but it’s hard when the world doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean you can’t walk through a drive-thru?!

He’s going back to a simpler time, back to when three cheese straws were a pound. This warm, light- hearted stand-up comedy show hilariously highlights the things in life that Ben thinks should be simple… but aren’t.

Saturday 29th July / 18:00hrs / Ventnor Arts Club / Book Tickets

St Catherine’s Gigantic Gala

A family friendly extravaganza featuring artists from across the festival in a special variety show aimed at all ages including children. This is a relaxed performance 

Even better, all proceeds from this event will be donated to St Catherine’s School, a Ventnor based charity that provides specialist care, education and therapy to young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Sunday 30th July / 17:00hrs / The Magpie / Book Tickets

Ventnor Fringe: Top 10 Fastest Selling Shows!

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It’s early days, but there are some tickets that are so hot they don’t hang about for long! Today we reveal our rundown of the fastest selling shows of 2023 so far. 

For this list, we’re looking at the shows which have sold the highest proportion of their available capacity, instead of highest total number of tickets, as venue sizes vary greatly and this is a more important indicator of which will sell out first. If you see something you like on this list you best get booking those tickets sharpish!

1.) You Don’t Have To Be Mad To Work Here

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd July 2023 /3pm-4pm at Ventnor Arts Club

A NHS psychiatrist, award-winning comedian and writer Benji Waterstones makes his first trip to Ventnor to preview his show ahead of the Edinburgh Festival.

Expect a fly on the padded-wall account of the mental health world that also busts some myths (e.g. there are no padded walls).

Learn the secret to happiness, the best way to escape from a locked ward and the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a psychic.

Soon to be a Penguin-published book.


2.) Bob – The Half A Sausage Musical 

Friday 21st July 2023 / 7.30pm – 8.30pm at The Magpie

After the Ventnor Fringe award-winning ‘People’s Republic of the Isle of Wight’ in 2021 and last year’s highly successful run of ‘Born to be the Weather Wizard’,  Joe Plumb is back with a bonkers new show for 2023!

This time it is bigger, better and more Isle of Wight than ever before with an all-singing, all-dancing, musical half a sausage spectacular…What could possibly go wrong?

Book Tickets

3.) Geoff Norcott – Work In Progress

Saturday 22nd July 2023 / 7.30pm – 8.30pm at The Magpie

Geoff Norcott is working up his fifth national tour show, following on the back of ‘Conswervative’, ‘Traditionalism’, ‘Taking Liberties’ and ‘I Blame The Parents’. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Geoff out on the road trying out brand-new material, ahead of it’s Edinburgh run.


4.) Eat, Slay, Love – A Quivers Stand Up Show

Sunday 23rd July / 7.30pm – 8.30pm at The Magpie

When it seems everyone around you is managing their journey of becoming a fully functioning human person, with responsibilities and kids and meal prepping and matching socks, where does someone who can barely remember to tie their laces find their place in it all? Join Quivers as they spiral out of control, and talk relationships, proper jobs, fitting in, inner peace, and ponder what being an adult means in 2023. Like an existential crisis on stage… with jokes!

QUIVERS is the Isle of Wight’s best kept regret. QUIVERS is a stand up comedian, songstress, host, DJ, and a general buffoon, who is here to risk all remaining dignity to make you laugh and bring you some joy.


5.) Hunter Davies – The Beatles

Tuesday 25th July 2023 / 3pm-4pm at Ventnor Arts Club

In 1966/68 Hunter Davies spent two years with the Beatles writing what became the only authorised biography of the Beatles because they split up in 1970. Hunter interviewed them, their parents and friends including Brian Epstein and George Martin. He spent a long time with each of them at their homes and also at Abbey Road Studios while they were working on their Sergeant Pepper album . They also came to his home and had meals.

After the band split up Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Linda had a holiday with us in our holiday home in Portugal. Hunter will speak about how he came to write the book.


6.) Richard Herring – Work In Progress

Thursday 27th July 2023 /5.30pm-6.30pm at The Nest

Richard Herring makes a return to stand up after a five year hiatus and will be trying out new material, probably mainly about losing a testicle, but maybe some other stuff too. Puppets may be involved. The show, Like Richard, is a work in progress.


7.) Drunk Women Solving Crime

Thursday 27th July 2023/ 9.15pm-10.30pm at The Magpie

Local Ventnor girl Hannah George brings her chart topping podcast Drunk Women Solving Crime to Ventnor for a live recording! With millions of downloads, sold out runs at Edinburgh Festival, and a monthly London residency, don’t miss your chance to see the Drunk Women on the Island!


8.) Pick of the Fringe

Friday 28th & Saturday 29th July 2023/9.15pm – 11pm at The Magpie

A packed night of stand up comedy from a selection of some of the funniest acts at this year’s Ventnor Fringe, curated and hosted by double Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Ahir Shah (Live at the Apollo, The Mash Report, BBC)

Back for a third year following completely sold out shows in 2021 and 2022, it’s the perfect Friday/Saturday night out at the Fringe!


9.) Ahir Shah – Ends

Saturday 29th July 2023 / 7.30pm-8.30pm in The Nest

Alongside hosting Pick of the Fringe, Ahir Shah also returns with his first full solo show since 2019’s Dots (now a special on HBO Max). This one’s about family, immigration, marriage, history, politics and beans.

As seen on Mock the Week, The Mash Report, QI, Live at the Apollo, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Have I Got News For You, and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.


10.) Glenn Moore – Work In Progress

Tuesday 25th July 2023 / 5.30pm-6.30pm in The Nest

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Glenn Moore is a comedian, actor and one of the best and most prolific joke writers in the country.

Glenn’s 2022 Fringe show sold out with rave five star reviews from The Mail on Sunday, Chortle and The Courier, amongst a number of other publications. Glenn is a regular face on TV, having appeared on Mock The Week (BBC), The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), Guessable (Comedy Central), Rob Delaney’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central) and The Stand Up Sketch Show (ITV2).

Now he’s back with a brand new show!