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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

Morning

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.

Afternoon

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!

Evening

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

Morning

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.

Afternoon

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.

Evening

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

Morning

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.

Afternoon

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.

Evening

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?

Flamingods

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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!

BOOK TICKETS

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!

BOOK TICKETS

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.

BOOK TICKETS

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!

BOOK TICKETS

Ventnor Fringe: First Shows Announced!

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Today we’re excited to reveal the first shows to be confirmed for this year’s Ventnor Fringe!

Ventnor Fringe is back! Returning from 21st – 30th July and today the first shows in by far the largest and most exciting programme to date go on sale!

Early highlights to be announced include the acclaimed Barely Methodical Troupe’s International award winning smash hit BROMANCE, five star circus about camaraderie and affection. Audacious, touching, exhilarating tour-de-force of physical heroics where handshakes become handstands and backslaps become backflips. It looks set to take The Big Top, a new venue introduced last year, by storm.

Following last year’s sell out event local promoters EarsPeeled return with A Day At The Fringe, a whole day music takeover headlined by Coventry based Alt/Indie band FEET, alongside the likes of Dublin’s Fizzy Orange, Bristol’s Grandmas House, London’s Freddy Merkky, and an array of Island talent.

Other musical offerings announced include international psych explorers Flamingods who combine Eastern and African influences, purveyors of some of this year’s most catchy earworms, Gengahr and BC Camplight, moniker of maverick songsmith Brian Christinzio. The Philadelphian is considered one of indie music’s most forward-thinking artists with a discography which acts as a soundtrack to a life rife with bad fortune, mental illness, running afoul of the law, and ultimately absolute redemption.

Families will be pleased to see the return of two time Audience Choice Award Nominees Let’s Circus to the boutique Magpie Tent with a brand new show Happy Daze. Also returning is award-winning Japanese duo Witty Look, whose on-stage characters jump right out of the world of manga and cartoons. Meanwhile The Handlebards turn their hands to JM Barrie’s Peter Pan in a special three-hander adaptation with their signature comedic style.

For fans of cabaret, breakout star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2, Ginny Lemon explores the intersections of their working class identity, queerness, disability but with a distinct acidic wit, aesthetic and unique perspective on life have made them one of the UK’s most celebrated drag and performance artists in Pick ‘n’ Mix.

Much of the comedy offering is yet to be announced but two time Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Ahir Shah (Live at the Apollo, The Mash Report, BBC 2) returns to curate and host The Pick of The Fringe, a selection of some the best comics from across the festival and always an early event to sell out.

With around 150 shows expected to take part, new additions to the programme will be added regularly at vfringe.co.uk and audience members looking for advice or recommendations can also visit the festival box office at Ventnor Exchange (open 7 days a week from 10am) or by calling (01983) 716767.

Ventnor Fringe: Host An Artist!

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Do you have a spare room? Would you like to host an artist at Ventnor Fringe?

Each year hundreds of performers take part in Ventnor Fringe, travelling from all over the UK and beyond. As you can imagine it’s a big challenge housing everyone so this year we’re launching a new scheme for residents with spare rooms. 

Could you host an artist?

This year we’re working with TheatreDigsBooker.com to provide an online database of local residents with spare rooms, who are happy to accommodate visiting performers to the festival. The website works much like Airbnb except it’s only for residents with a spare room, who would like to host a visiting artist/s during the Ventnor Fringe.

It’s a great way to meet new people, be involved with the festival community, see a free show and earn some extra money.

FIND OUT MORE

Watch / Listen

Watch / Listen

Flamingods Open Ventnor Fringe With ‘Pay What You Want’ Show

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Psych explorers Flamingods will be bringing their unique sound to a special opening night concert to kick off Ventnor Fringe in style!

The best bit? We’re excited to say tickets are ‘pay what you want’ – but spaces are limited so don’t miss out!

Kick off Ventnor Fringe in style!

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 Fringe Village’s Big Top, which will be returning to its clifftop position overlooking the sea.

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. The album channels these influences through a vision soaked in mysticism, positivity and sun-drenched imagery. The band head to the Isle of Wight ahead of a new album slated for release in Autumn 2023.

In a special collaboration with Ventnor Exchange and Progressive Artists this event will be ‘Pay What You Want’ offering you a chance to choose your own ticket price from as little as £5! What are you waiting for?

BOOK TICKETS

Watch / Listen

Watch / Listen

Rouse Ltd Audience Choice Award: Vote For Your Favourite Show!

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Who should win this year’s Rouse Ltd Audience Choice Award? You decide!

Over 200 artists have taken part in Ventnor Fringe this year, but only one can be crowned the audiences favourite! So if you’ve seen an act or show this year that you think deserves particular special mention this is your chance to show your support. 

How does it help the artists? 

Thanks to the kind support of Island based financial advisers Rouse Ltd the winner of the public vote gets their hands on a handcrafted trophy and a £500 cash prize to help support their work. The winner is also able to use the accolade to help promote ongoing tours of their work so it really does make a difference. 

The award was launched in 2021 following conversations with Rouse LTD who were keen to support artists at the festival. CEO Ben Rouse explained  “Home-grown events have the potential to become major attractions and if we get the opportunity to support a sound idea then we welcome that. The Island has long been known for its creativity and Rouse Ltd is keen to help nurture and develop that.”

Ready to vote?

Each email address/name has one vote and you can pick any show, free or ticketed, from this year’s Ventnor Fringe as a worthy winner. Voting opens on the last day of the festival, Sunday 31st July, and is open for 3 weeks, closing on Sunday 21st August at midnight.  

 

VOTING OPEN SUNDAY 31st JULY 

Fringe Top Tips: What Are Fringe Fridays?

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Every year we get asked about the possibility of having a single ticket that gets you into multiple events. Introducing our solution…Fringe Fridays

Fringe Fridays, taking place on (you guessed it) both Fridays of the Fringe, are mini music festivals in their own right, with a single ticket getting you access to The Big Top area in the Fringe Village for the whole day. 

On both days the live music kicks off at 2pm, running right through into the evening and you can come and go as you please. In this article we take a closer look at the line up.

Not interested in the gigs? Fear not, the rest of Ventnor Fringe will be running as normal on these days, with many other shows and events also on offer.

The Big Moon

We’re quite literally over the moon to announce none other than The Big Moon will be headlining our first Fringe Friday event! Nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize for their 2017 debut ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ before returning in early 2020 with the massive ‘Walking Like We Do’ in which band members Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathan, Celia Archer and Fern Ford provided an even more assured follow up. Lead single ‘Your Light’, about finding solace in relationships during chaotic times, has amassed over 15million streams on Spotify alone.

With impeccable timing the band have just returned to the soundwaves with new single ‘Wide Eyes’ and a new album, charting the experience of pregnancy and having a child, slated for this Autumn.  

Tonstartssbandht

American psychedelic noise rock duo formed of Edwin and Andy White (long time guitarist in Mac Demarco’s band) who we’ve been very excited about for some time! Travelling all the way from Florida for a European tour taking in some of the continents finest capital cities and…Ventnor. Yep, we’re absolutely stoked they are making the detour to visit the Isle of Wight before their London show.

Blood Wizard

An artist who straddles genres to create a sound uniquely their own, Blood Wizard’s brand of ‘Wonky Folk’ blends components of classic folk with avant-garde to create an environment to which his distinctive character can wander freely. Drawing similarities to the narrative led by murmurings of Kurt Vile as well as the unpredictability of Crack Cloud, it’s less about fitting in for Burns and more about developing a world, where the mystique and sheer eccentricity of Blood Wizard can be fully let loose.

Anchorsong

Originally from Tokyo, and now based in London, Anchorsong AKA Masaaki Yoshida is a highly-fêted producer, and solo live act, renowned for crafting immersive and rhythmic releases. He has supported artists such as Bonobo, Portico Quartet, DJ Krush, Daedelus, Jaga Jazzist, and performed at prestigious venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall and Camden Roundhouse in London.

Goat Girl

Another act we’ve wanted to bring to the Island for years, Goat Girl is one of the most exciting and energetic new bands around. The South London based quartet released their second album ‘On All Fours’ in 2021, firmly establishing them as a force to be reckoned with, with their post-punk sounds recognised alongside peers like Fontaines D.C. They share the barbed ferocity of Fat White Family, but also explore interesting electronic elements. The melancholy dance-punk of Sad Cowboy has a synth breakdown that recalls Caribou’s ‘Can’t Do Without You’

CHAMPS

One of the Island’s most successful music exports and long time supporters of Ventnor Fringe CHAMPS have been busy working on their much anticipated fourth album, slated for a release later in the year, and will be previewing new songs at the festival!

Formed by brothers Mike and Dave Champion it’s been nearly three years since The Hard Interchange and we can’t hear to see what they’ve been working on. 

Luca Wilding

With his incredibly distinctive vocals, a rare mix of the soulful and the operatic, we’ve been hooked ever since Luca performed an intimate show at Ventnor Exchange. Inspired by singers like Leonard Cohen and having recorded his debut album at the prestigious Chale Abbey Studio down the road this should be a really special performance. 

Greg Foat

Greg Foat is one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists, composers and music producers. He’s worked with a diverse selection of musicians including Bob Lind, Moses Boyd, Curtis Lundy, Rita Ora, Wendy James, Questlove and The Kooks.

A prolific musician, in recent years he’s recorded for Jazzman Records, Athens Of The North and Strut. Despite living on the Island it’s his first (and long overdue!) Ventnor Fringe performance. 

Win Free Tickets For World Fringe Day!

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Today is World Fringe Day, a global celebration of everything that’s great about fringe festivals!

The very first ‘fringe’ festival began in Edinburgh in 1947, so called because artists who where not invited to perform at the newly created Edinburgh International Festival decided to perform anyway in venues and spaces around the city, and these events where referred to as ‘on the fringes’ of the main festival.

This homegrown, DIY ethos led to the creation of a much more democratic type of event, often called an ‘open access’ festival. In simple terms it just means anyone can perform at a fringe festival!

Today the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, selling over 3 million tickets in 2019, pre-COVID. For comparison Glastonbury sold around 130,000 tickets this year, although Edinburgh does take place over a whole month.

A worldwide movement

The success of the Edinburgh Fringe over the past 75 years has inspired similar movements around the world, and there are now over 200 fringe festivals that take place annually across six continents, from huge events like Australia’s Adelaide Fringe and Fringe World in Perth, to small versions like the Azores Fringe, on the tiny Portuguese Islands.

In the UK longer running examples include Brighton Fringe and Buxton Fringe, while outside the anglosphere they often take on a different name with events like Avignon’s Off Festival run along similar lines to a fringe festival.

Our own Ventnor Fringe began back in 2010 and like the Edinburgh movement that inspired it was created in a very homegrown way, set up by local teenagers as an alternative to the much larger events like the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival, with a model in which anyone can apply to take part, whatever their level of experience and in any creative discipline.

This ethos ensures Fringes offer a unique atmosphere and environment because they do not represent any one promoter or committees tastes or views, but instead provide a platform for creativity in all its forms to experiment, innovate and entertain.

We’re very proud to be part of a completely uncoordinated but worldwide movement of grassroots led arts festivals, which share similar values around making creativity accessible to all, and providing a platform for many different voices and ideas.

Win All Your Tickets To The Fringe!

To celebrate World Fringe Day we’re launching a special prize. Everyone who purchases tickets to any events at this year’s Ventnor Fringe by midnight tonight will be entered into a draw to have all of their tickets paid for. We’ll be selecting three baskets at random to refund the entire cost of tickets in that transaction!

To be in with a chance of winning you need to purchase tickets by midnight tonight (Monday 11th July) If you’re booking tickets to multiple events remember to create a basket and pay for all of your events in one transaction to be in with a chance of having the entire amount refunded. Good luck!

What are you waiting for? Take a look at this year’s events here