World Fringe Day 2019 - Focus on Fringe Festivals

Andrew Stuckey | Posted on Mon 8 July 2019 at 12.00PM
Categories: Case Study

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Fringe festivals take centre stage on July 11 for World Fringe Day. Inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – which began in 1947 when eight companies arranged their own impromptu performances alongside the Edinburgh International Festival – fringe festivals are “exciting sparks where stars are made”, according to World Fringe Day organisers.

TicketSource provides box office infrastructure for fringe festivals all over the UK. From Cardiff to Reading, Levenshulme to Petworth, fringe festivals enrich a region’s cultural scene, give opportunities to performers and provide a boost to the local economy.

The Barnes Fringe Festival, in South London, began using TicketSource in 2015. “It’s a great way to easily sell tickets for lots of one-off events,” explained Jamie Rycroft, Production and Marketing Manager. The festival is based at the OSO Arts Centre and programmes comedy, theatre and music performances over a three-week period. “Our venue has moveable seating and can be set up in lots of configurations,” said Jamie, “so being able to set our ticket capacity differently for each event is a huge advantage.”

The festival coincides with the popular Barnes Fair, which features a funfair, grand parade and over 300 stalls. The Barnes Free Fringe is held on the same day and showcases five stand-up comedians as well as a short drama – all free of charge. “It’s great to be able to use TicketSource for our free events, as it means that people can book tickets in advance and we have an indication about how many will attend,” said Jamie.

The Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival started in 2016, bringing an eclectic mix of new and alternative performances to the Welsh capital. “We’ve used TicketSource since 2017,” said Isabelle Paige, Partnerships Manager. “We needed an adaptable system that could handle tickets for shows in venues like cafés and bars, and even the basement of the local antiques market.”

The founders drew on their own experience of performing in fringe theatre, and decided to ensure that the festival would be financially viable for companies and audience members. “Because TicketSource is free to use,” explained Isabelle, “we don’t have to charge companies any fees to participate in the festival and we can keep ticket costs below £10 each.”

Jamie Rycroft in Barnes also values the cost-effectiveness of the TicketSource system. “It’s an affordable option for ticketing for fringe theatres, as it allows for straightforward booking online and provides e-tickets that are sent to customers.”

Managing tickets for fringe festivals can be a daunting task, with a large number of events across a variety of venues. “The customer service from TicketSource was really approachable and supportive,” said Isabelle. “They talked us through lots of issues we hadn’t thought about, like content warnings and latecomer policies. It was so helpful in making us a better and more professional organisation.”

With over 70 fringe festivals across the UK, don’t miss out on a fringe festival experience this summer. After all, as World Fringe points out, “not only are festivals good for the economy, but they are food for our souls”.

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