Ludlow Fringe Festival bigger than ever and hoping to bring boost to town

Ludlow's Fringe Festival is back this year with live events after securing £97,000 worth of grant funding to make the popular arts and theatre festival better than ever.

Taking place over four weeks this year instead of the usual two, Ludlow Fringe Festival has a wealth of entertainment available for audiences.

Festival organisers managed to secure two grants of £48,000 and £49,000 from the Arts Council to help it regenerate and invest in the future.

Anita Bigsby, festival director, said this year they have about 50 live performances for audiences to enjoy – with many on spectacular outdoor stages including at Stokesay Court, and indoor venues where there will be limited capacity and social distancing.

"We are using the beautiful Stokesay Court this year, where the film Atonement was shot," Anita said.

"We also have an 80-piece film orchestra performing on the lawn at the front of the house, which will be amazing.

"There is loads going on in town as well, we are using the Ludlow Brewery, the Feathers Hotel, the Blue Boar and St Laurence's Church."

Anita hopes that the fringe will continue to show the talent of local people and artists and celebrate the town.

"We have something on for everyone. The LGBTQ+ community have organised Ludlow Pride, and we have the Green Festival on June 11.

"The festival has been extended to four weeks instead of two because we have lots going on at the same times and wanted people to be able to enjoy them all.

"We hope to keep that vibrancy and attractiveness people have towards the town alive, and boost our visitor economy."

Anita said the toughest thing about organising the huge festival during lockdown was logistics and getting hold of people.

"We had to do risk assessments for every single performance," she explained.

"We just want to make it as safe for our audience as possible, and had the restrictions been eased as they were planned we still would have reduced capacity and kept social distancing."

With the grant money, Anita and her team have been able to invest in the future and have bought a stage which is now set up in Ludlow Castle Square.

Anita added: "The festival will hopefully be a positive for everyone after the last year."

The festival runs until July 18. Visit for the programme and tickets.

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