Arts festival gets boost thanks to recovery fund

An arts festival has received vital funding to support its development from Shropshire Council’s Wider Economic Recovery Fund.

Ludlow Fringe Festival director Anita Bigsby
Ludlow Fringe Festival director Anita Bigsby

Ludlow Fringe Festival is in its ninth year and is rapidly building an international reputation.

A diverse arts and community festival, it encompasses a wide range of performance, from dance and comedy to visual arts and theatre.

Director Anita Bigsby set up the festival as a CIC (Community Interest Company) in 2013 with just £10.

That year the festival turned over £17,000.

In 2021 there was a mixture of online and live performances and turnover has risen to £154,000 with 78 individual events over 30 days.

Anita said: “Last year we had to move the entire event online because of the Covid crisis, but it meant that this year people could not wait to experience a live performance and we sold out.

“However, this year we still offered some online events and used performers from all over the world.

“The great thing is those performers now want to come to Ludlow and perform live.

"We had virtual performers from afar a field as New York, so we are now a truly international festival and it’s a great vehicle to promote Ludlow and Shropshire to an international audience.”

The grant has been used to purchase vital equipment, including the technology to live-stream performances and a ‘trailer-stage’, a movable performance space that can be put to multiple uses.

Anita added that they would love to utilise this in the future to take performances out to local communities but also showcase the wealth of local talent and take a performance to the Edinburgh Fringe itself.

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