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Free Fringe Co-Producer Sarah prepares for her first Ventnor Fringe

I’m Sarah, a 24 year old volunteer with the Ventnor Fringe helping to organise some of the the Free Fringe activities. Although I grew up on the Island, I’ve not been to the Fringe before (I can’t believe I’ve missed out on this until now!). So, I’ve been chatting to the team and I’ve come up with these tips for Ventnor Fringe newbies like me!

1. Book in advance…
Make sure you book tickets in advance for the shows you definitely want to see. Some of the venues are quite small, so a lot of the shows are selling out fast. To save some money, you can also become a Fringe Friend online which will get you 2 for 1 tickets on lots of shows. See twice as many shows, or bring a friend!
2. …but give yourself time to explore!
Be prepared, but don’t fill your time up too much! There is so much going on throughout the week and not all of it will be in the program. Alongside the ticketed shows there are tonnes of free acts and activities. Leave yourself some time to wander around and stumble across some of the weirdness going on in Ventnor. You might find yourself in a rooftop yoga class at sunset, listening to a storyteller on the 1930s parisian bus turned bookshop or even watching some improvised hip-hop in a laundrette.
3. Don’t know any acts? No problem!
There are over 100 different acts and it could be the case that you don’t know a single one. Should you be worried? No! Part of the fun of fringe festivals is that you’ll come across performances that surprise you and discovering new artists to follow. If you’re not sure what to pick (or spoilt for choice?) why not give the Fringe Roulette Wheel a spin and see where you end up.

4. The Fringe is for you, yes you!
As well as a huge variety of acts at the Fringe there is always a huge variety of guests too. There is something to suit everyone, from family friendly activities in parkside to late night DJs down at the harbourside and plenty of quiet places to wander during the day.
5. Meet the artists and the team.
Come down to the Harbourside at 11am on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday for brunch with the performers, artists and the Ventnor Fringe team. If you’re an artist yourself it will be a great opportunity to network!
6. Logistics and Transport
Wear comfortable shoes! Ventnor may be compact but it can be pretty steep. Parking will be difficult to find so I would really recommend coming by public transport. You can easily get the number 3 from Ryde or Newport. They run as late as 12:28am Monday to Thursday and 3:33am Friday to Sunday. The buses take contactless payment now too!

Look out for the Free Fringe programme online and available throughout the Festival and also the Fringe Review Newspaper which comes out every morning for all the latest news


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