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Buxton Festivals

Buxton is home to a whole host of summer celebrations with the very best opera, literature and music found in the heart of the beautiful Peak District. It has been a successful part of Buxton life for over three decades now, getting bigger and better each year, bringing top quality productions with speakers and artists with a worldwide reputation. But there is always a varied programme of rarely performed opera, engaging literary events and some really wonderful music.

Rivalling Edinburgh's fantastic Fringe Festival, Buxton has its very own. It was started in 1980 to run concurrently with the Buxton Festival, which is very much opera based. It is now one of the largest fringe festivals in England and is an open access arts event, offering the showcase for performers of all kinds in a variety of venues, some new talent and some more established.

Buxton fringe Festival is often used as a springboard for the Edinburgh fringe, where acts try out the audience and gain insight as to whether they need to change anything for the big event. Music, laughter, opera, dance, drama, poetry, film, comedy, magic and exhibitions are just a small portion of the forms of entertainment which delight audiences each year.

Buxton fringe has a very professional image with a full colour printed programme, awards, a dynamic website and some wonderful reviews, making it highly respected within the entertainment circle of professionals. Last year saw another sell-out with ticket sales rising by 24% to an estimated audience of the 12,000, and that is simply for the ticketed event s. There are also lots of free of charge events such as the Fringe Launch Party, The Dome Art Fair, Buxton Art Trail and Fringe Sunday which drove the total audience figures up to an estimated 24,000 so it's easy to see how popular it is becoming and why acts from all over the country want to be seen there.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is nearly reaching its second decade, and takes place usually between July and August. It has revived a surge in the popularity of one of the country's most enduring and talented musical duos and last year, performing groups of over 50 members arrived from far afield such as South Africa, the USA and Canada. The visitors have also attended from all over Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium and France.

Buxton Festival is an arts event which takes place in the summer showcasing music and literature and the very finest opera. It is renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere and also being a very well attended event for dedicated opera lovers and newcomers. It brought in over 40,000 visitors to the town last year.

Buxton Adventure Festival took place the towns arts centre during October and was billed as a celebration of the very best speakers and films from the world of adventure, travel and sport. The inaugural festival consisted of 10 illustrated lectures on a wide range of activities from mountain biking to wild swimming and each lecture was followed by one short film. On each day at 10.30am there was a special session for young adventurers aimed at inspiring a new generation of adventure seekers and it was deemed a great success and a further event is anticipated in 2013.

The Four- Four Time Festival of live music is held annually in February and presents a wide programme of diverse music, including the very best pop, blues, jazz, rock and world music. It was launched in 2003 and it has featured huge names such as Jools Holland, the James Taylor Quartet, the Kate Rusby Trio, Elvis Costello, Eddie reader, Courtney Pine, Joan Armatrading, Sam Brown, Hothouse Flowers, The Levellers, to name but a few.

Buxton Festival World Cinema is a new festival, which took place in November at the new Pavilion Arts Centre and the Paupers Pit Theatre in the Old Hall Hotel. It was presented in conjunction with Buxton film and it has been described as 'offering a feast of passion, comedy, colour, action, suspense, documentary and music from every corner of the globe.' It offered 17 feature films from around the world, plus some very short films and documentaries.

Buxton Puppet Festival was presented in conjunction with Funny Wonders, and features British and international artists with performances and workshops for all ages at venues around the town. There are also Street performances which are free of charge and really delight the children. Buxton puppet Festival takes place in July.

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