Since we first surveyed artists, we’ve been quietly working to put plans in place, meet with artists, have coffees with cultural leaders, research and write budgets, and now we have some news to share. At this point, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s helped us get to this point including everyone who filled out our initial survey. Your support is so valued and you’ve made a big impact on the way the festival is shaping up.

We received loads of really insightful and helpful thoughts, all geared towards making Exeter Fringe Festival the best it can be, and all highlighting a real feel of ownership over the festival by artists in the city. We’re really keen to embrace this, and encourage a continued open dialogue as plans progress. So we’re saying it now, and we’ll keep saying it: if you have an idea for the festival, or you just want to have a chat with us about something, get in touch (info@exefringe.co.uk) we don’t bite…

We’re excited to say that the inaugural Exeter Fringe Festival will take place from Friday 26th July to Sunday 4th August 2019. Featuring a programme with three main strands; fringe theatre, family theatre and comedy, this festival will showcase the best in local talent as well as friends from further afield creating a mix of everything from the first seed of an idea, to established artists on the main stage.

We’re going to be partnering with key cultural organisations within the city, two of which we can announce as our 2019 venues: the Barnfield Theatre and the Exeter Phoenix. We’re working closely with the teams to kick off the Exeter Fringe Festival with a bang, and we can’t wait to tell you more about these collaborations.

As well as a curated headline programme, we’ll also invite applications for pieces of fringe theatre, family theatre and stand-up comedy in the new year with plenty of room for artists at all levels. We’re planning a ‘scratch’ space where you can try out an idea without the financial pressure of a larger auditorium, and more traditional fringe studio formats for finished pieces.

We’ll be getting our heads down over the next couple of months to focus on the task of fundraising. In terms of finance, we’re starting from zero so the challenge is going to be generating enough support to realise our ambitions for the festival. We want to offer a fair deal for artists whilst creating something sustainable for the future and acknowledging that some of the big ideas might not be feasible in the first year.

This is the first of many updates on the festival. To be sure to hear our news first, sign up to our email newsletter.

We hope you’re as excited as us about Exeter Fringe Festival and we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Elaine & Alex

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