Shropshire Star

Ludlow's fringe festival 'in safe hands' as next year's event is confirmed

A town's arts centre has secured the future of one of the country’s most loved rural fringe festivals.

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Anita Bigsby of Ludlow Fringe and Jess Laurie of Ludlow Assembly Rooms

The Trustees of Ludlow & District Community Association Ltd - which is the charity behind Ludlow Assembly Rooms - has announced that they will be bringing Ludlow Fringe back in 2024.

Anita Bigsby, Ludlow Fringe’s managing director, is taking a well-earned sabbatical in 2024 after a number of years of developing and delivering the festival.

Anita said: “This is a really positive step and I celebrate the collaboration between Ludlow Fringe Festival and Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

"I am confident they will deliver the quality and diversity of events that our friends, patrons and audience members now expect of the Ludlow Fringe.

"I am really looking forward to a break to pursue my own artistic endeavours knowing I have left the festival in safe hands until I return.”

The Ludlow Assembly Rooms agreed to take on the festival so that the town continues to benefit from this long-standing and well-loved feature of the arts calendar.

Anita Bigsby and Jess Laurie, the programming and engagement lead of Ludlow Assembly Rooms are working together on the programme for 2024.

June 2024 will see 10 days of varied events including comedy, dance, spoken word, music and workshops at Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

A small number of events may be held at other town venues although it is unlikely the carnival and street events will take place in 2024.

Jess said: “We, at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, are incredibly excited to continue the tradition of the Ludlow Fringe and to ensure that Ludlow remains a place where you can enjoy a huge variety of cultural experiences - all year round.

"We are confident that the Fringe Festival in 2024, and beyond, will excite and entertain, with our amazing town-centre Assembly Rooms, which Dame Judi Dench described as ‘absolutely wonderful’ when she performed here in the 2023 Fringe, at the heart of it.

"We have some big names and some intriguing events pencilled in already for next June and look forward to revealing the full, stream-lined 2024 Fringe line-up soon. Watch this space!”

Steve Catanach, interim chief executive (from January 2024) of Ludlow Assembly Rooms, said: “As a local resident and arts lover, I am delighted that we are able to present Ludlow Fringe Festival 2024.

"Despite a background of cuts in grants to the arts in the UK, collaborations such as this prove how committed we are to ensuring Ludlow remains a centre of arts excellence and a place to enjoy diverse cultural experiences.

"I am so grateful to the dedicated staff and volunteers at Ludlow Assembly Rooms who enable us to continue to present a varied programme of events, week in and week out and we’re all incredibly excited to be the home of Ludlow Fringe in 2024.”