Ventnor Fringe: A Statement on Ventnor Harbour

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The Ventnor Fringe has always worked to transform under-used and often unknown spaces and re-imagine them for the Festival, creating numerous pop up venues and spaces each year.


For the past seven years the Ventnor Bandstand (Harbour) has been one of our most iconic spaces, hosting The Observatory Bar along with lots of live music, DJ’s, street theatre and installations, bringing new life to the building.

Unfortunately the structure of the raised bandstand has deteriorated significantly over the years and is in need of significant repair. It is unfortunate that this has to happen during the peak summer season but clearly we are in agreement over the need to ensure public safety.

We are working closely with Southern Water to ensure the Ventnor Fringe will still be able to use the Harbour during the week of the Festival, working around the necessary repairs and we’ll be announcing the full programme for events for the space very soon.

Ventnor Fringe takes place from the 7th – 12th August 2018 with over 150 performances planned for this year.

PROGRAMME EDIT: 3 Days to Pop Up **Venue Change**

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The venue for Upstarter’s 3 Day’s to Pop Up course has changed from Ventnor Arts Club to The Green Room at Ventnor Town Council building in Salisbury Garden’s. We apologise if this causes any inconvenience.  The time is the same at 10am – 12pm – Wednesday 9th, Thursday 10th and Friday 11th August.

Venue Address:

The Green Room

1 Salisbury Garden’s


PO38 1EJ


9 Fringe Shows With Less Than 30 Tickets Left!

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There may be more than a week to go until the Ventnor Fringe but with ticket sales up by about 33% many events are already close to selling out! Here’s a list of 9 shows with less than 30 tickets left!


1.) Walk And Talk – As few as 5 left tickets on some days!

Discover more then you ever knew about Ventnor! From African royalty and international drug smuggling all the way to Oscar winning films and medieval warriors. Starting at the Ventnor Exchange and going out west towards Woody Bay before ending up at Parkside. Approx 2 – 2  1/2 hours.

Weds,Thurs, Fri, 10:30hrs Tickets £3


2.) Lauran Hibberd & Swan Levitt – 12 tickets left!

Two fantastic Island musicians and a great little venue in the form of The Tea House, what could be better? Lauran had an EP launch at the Ventnor Exchange earlier in the year and we were all wowed!

Fri, 19:30hrs Tickets £5 (Friends 2for1)


3.) Bloomsbury and the Isle of Wight – 21 tickets left!

A full afternoon of films and talks about the work of Virginia Woolf and D.H Lawrence. Including introductions from artist Judy Rodrigues and screenwriter Hugh Stoddart.

Tues, 13:30hrs Tickets £10


4.) Annabelle Spencer Live – 22 tickets left!

Young Island talent Annabelle Spencer is a singer songwriter fresh out of Platform One Music College. It’s her first appearance at the Ventnor Fringe and she’ll be performing a host of new work.

Weds 17:30hrs  Tickets £2 (Friends 2for1)


5.) The Water Babies – As few as 22 left tickets on some days!

Following multiple sell out runs at the Ventnor Fringe we’re delighted London’s String Theatre return with the premiere of a brand new marionette show. Following the story of chimney sweep who escapes his hard life into a magical aquatic world of fish, caterpillars and caddisflies String Theatre’s shows always appeal to people of all ages.

Sun 11:00hrs, 13:00hrs & 16:00hrs Tickets £6.00


6.) Doug Alldred & The Silver Lining – 27 tickets left!

Following a string of festival performances, including at the Isle of Wight Festival, this will be an intimate acoustic show in the beautiful surroundings of an 11th century chapel.

Thurs 21:30hrs Tickets £6.00


7.) Uncle Richard – 28 tickets left on some days!

Following performances across the country including at the RSC’s TOP in Stratford upon Avon Tell Tale Theatre return to Ventnor with a new show exploring Henry VIII’s attempts to discover more about his ancestors before he becomes king.

Sat, Sun 18:00hrs Tickets £8.50 Conc. £6.50 (Friends 2for1)


8.) Exit The King – As few as 29 left tickets on some days!

Featuring actor Graham Pountney as King Charles, as he reflects on his imminent execution. Graham featured in Scena Mundi’s Shakespeare productions last year which was one of the highlights of the Festival.

Weds,Fri,Sat 18:00hrs Tickets £9.00 Conc. £5.50 (Friends 2for1)


9.) Talking Heads – As few as 30 left tickets on some days!

One of Alan Bennett’s classic ‘Talking Head’ monologues, Ben Among The Lentils performed by first time visitors to the Ventnor Fringe, the ‘Library Theatre Touring Company’

Thurs, Fri 18:00hrs Tickets £8.00 (Friends 2for1)


Don’t forget there is about 120 acts performing at the Ventnor Fringe this year, with many performing as part of the Free Fringe, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to discover everything!





Sherika Sherard Show Cancelled – Daniel Zappi takes up residency instead!

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We are sorry to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances Sherika Sherard will no longer be performing at Ventnor Fringe on the 10th & 11th August.

BUT do not music lovers as we’ve had a last minute re-scheduling of the wonderful singer Daniel Zappi who has taken up the residency at Ventnor Arts Club. Daniel is touring with his newest album ‘Shores of others’ and has opened shows for acts such as Blue Tones and Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, Don’t miss this opportunity to catch his return to Ventnor.

Daniel will perform on Thursday the 10th of August and again in a late night session on Friday 11th August.

You can book tickets here:

Daniel Zappi

Daniel Zappi: Late Night Session


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The Isle of Wight’s biggest arts festival, Ventnor Fringe, returns for its eighth consecutive outing between 8th and 13th August. As well as it’s colourful array of performances from across the creative arts, the Fringe hosts a whole host of shows and activities aimed specifically at families. Free Fringe Producer Luke Joynes takes a look at four of the best:


The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Parkside. Tuesday 8th August – 7:30pm. BOOK NOW

This beautiful shadow puppet performance follows the journey of Prince Achmed as he travels across the Middle East, to China and beyond. Musician Chris Davies reinvigorates the film with his skillful composition and live performance using a spectacular array of instruments from around the world. This unique performance is guaranteed to be loved by children and adults alike.

Bottled Up 

St. Catherine’s Church. Saturday 12th (12pm) Sunday 13th (2pm) BOOK NOW

This contemporary circus piece uses juggling, cyr wheel and theatre to leave you both laughing and amazed. Bottled Up tells the humorous journey of two friends stranded on an island and what they did with half a bottle of water to share between them.


SESKA – Fruit Salad!!! 

Pier Street Playhouse. Saturday 12th (2:30pm/4:30pm) Sunday 13th (2:30pm) BOOK NOW

Magic, mayhem and happiness are just three words that can be used to describe the comedy-magic genius that is SESKA. He leaves the whole family in stitches, making his performances at the Fringe always very popular.

The Water Babies

Trinity Theatre. Sunday 13th August (11am, 1pm & 4pm) BOOK NOW

Using long string marionettes and ghostly shadows, String Theatre perform a beautiful production following the life of a chimney sweep who becomes a water baby. Performed entirely to specially commissioned music, this show explores loss, friendship and transformation.


Of course this is just a few shows in amongst workshops, buskers, circus performers, musicians and a whole range of weird and wonderful surprises taking place across the Fringe, between 8th and 13th August. For the full programme of events click here


Ventnor International Festival: What Is It?

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Following a pilot last year which featured intimate performances with the likes of Stealing Sheep in a warehouse, Boogie Belgique in an underground bunker and Dizraeli on a rooftop the Ventnor International Festival is back, much bigger and in a new format. Here’s all you need to know…


Taking place on Friday 11th August, during the week of the Ventnor Fringe, Ventnor International Festival (VIF for short) is a separate one day music festival, focused on promoting the best new music from across the UK and beyond. A ‘city style’ festival, gigs will take place in spaces across Ventnor, in the same way as the Fringe but with one single ticket providing access to all of the venues.

Confirmed acts so far include Childhood, The Parrots, Cosmo Pyke and CHAMPS among many others. Tickets cost £30 and are already selling fast. Early Birds have sold out! Book tickets and find out more here

The Ventnor Fringe will continue to run throughout the week, including on Friday 11th August, with our largest programme to date, spanning theatre, film, music and comedy as well as our usual pop up bars and spaces to explore.

First acts for Ventnor Fringe!

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It’s that time of year again! Today we’re extremely excited to announce our first wave of acts for Ventnor Fringe Festival 2017!


We’ve had more applications to the festival than ever before in a huge range of creative disciplines spanning circus to poetry and we’re now hard at work putting together the programme.

Tickets are now available for a selection of events including the Extraordinary Travelling Film Show who will be returning to Ventnor Park with an outdoor screening of the Oscar and BAFTA winner LA LA LAND, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner BRIGHDE CHAIMBEUL will be hosting a special show at St. Catherine’s Church and Atmos Music take over The Parkside on Sunday night with LITTLE MAMMOTHS headlining, fronted by Matt Owens of Noah And The Whale.

Elsewhere the IW Venue campaign presents a beautiful church show with CHARLIE DORE and JOAN ELLIS returns with DONNA JONES MBE to the Fringe with new shows.

We’ll be adding loads more events in coming days and weeks so keep your eyes peeled for more announcements on our social media pages or by joining our newsletter.

Applications for the Free Fringe are still open for those who wish to take part.

We can’t wait to welcome performers and audiences to our beautiful seaside town for another magical weekend of theatre, music, performance art and strange happenings this August. Help us spread the word !




Join us for the The Blind Mole’s Ball

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Looking for an adventure? Join us for a unique experience at the ventnor fringe in a very special secret venue to the sounds of special guests including boogie belgique. 

Ventnor has a notorious history of once being a hive of activity for smugglers, rogues and retrobates. Keeping their activities secret, they hid their loot from the customs officers in safe houses, caves and secret passageways along the island’s south coast.

Unbeknown to most is the story of one of the most prolific of these characters, who hosted a secret society in Ventnor that began over 300 years ago. So few knew of their activities that when their meeting place was abandoned at the outbreak of the first World War it was left as it was – untouched and undiscovered – until now.

Among the old ledgers and manuals left behind in the old Post Office (now the Ventnor Exchange) was an undisclosed document, left forgotten at the back of the old vault. What at first seemed like a postal phrase, then perhaps a war time code, soon transpired with a little more research, to be something much more exciting; the founding document of the Blind Mole Society.

Once a year this group of tricksters and merry makers would convene in a secret location, revealed in the document, for the Blind Mole’s Ball, an annual gathering to celebrate their spoils. Now 101 years since their last meeting you are invited to revive this legendary tradition for one last time.



Explore the sounds of BOOGIE BELGIQUE 



Explore Ventnor through your screen!

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Minecraft fans rejoice, our own ‘VIG’ (very important geek) Chris has designed an amzingly detailed Ventnor on the popular game Minecraft.  Chris will not only be releasing his pixelated Ventnor online, but also hosting special session at Ventnors own MineCraft club this Saturday, 8th August at 2pm.

You can purchase prints of his work from The Exchange or at the Undecided Art Collectives Dream show during the fringe.

Check out the OnTheWight article on Chris’ work here.