Tourism Bosses Say ‘Book Now’ For Shaftesbury Fringe 2018

Shaftesbury’s tourism leaders are advising people who want to visit the town for Fringe 2018 to book their accommodation early.

The third annual Shaftesbury Fringe Festival will take place from 29th June to the 1st July 2018.

David Taylor, Director of Shaftesbury Tourist Information Centre, says that weekend is a popular wedding date and accommodation spaces in and around the town can get block booked.

Chairman of Shaftesbury Tourism Association, Anne Giberson, recommends that Fringe visitors search to find guesthouse, hotel, self-catering or camping places.

“There’s a map that displays how close our members’ accommodation is to the town Fringe venues,” said Anne. “It’s possible to check availability and book some properties online too.”

Anne feels that Shaftesbury Fringe has the potential to boost visitor numbers and says the “amazing” event “has become better and better each year.”

Joint-Chair of the Fringe committee, Sue Allatt, says that the Fringe weekend is a great time for visitors to discover Shaftesbury on a short break.

“In 2018 we’ll be offering a bigger programme of events featuring talented local artists and performers from across the country. On Sunday, the traditional Gold Hill Fair will be another highlight of the weekend. Fringe is delighted to be working again with the fair’s organisers, the Rotary Club. Together, we’ll offer three packed days of entertainment, which will be worth visitors traveling to,” Sue said.

Calling Street Performers And Buskers To Shaftesbury Fringe 2018!

Calling all street performers and buskers to Shaftesbury Fringe 2018.

There’s no need to pay a registration fee, simply email Kate on to register your interest.

Kate says, “We want to create an exciting buzz in the streets as well as inside our venues. We will promote you on our website and socials – so a great opportunity for some free publicity.”

Kevin Harrison

About: Kevin has lived in Shaftesbury for ten years and works three days a week as a software developer for a leading global consultancy company.

He is the Membership Secretary of the Shaftesbury Arts Centre, where he also manages the website and booking system. He is looking forward to helping make the 2019 Fringe another resounding success.

Amber Harrison

About: Amber’s role in corporate social responsibility takes her far and wide but her heart and home remains in Shaftesbury where she’s lived for the past ten years. She’s a trustee of the Rolt Millennium Green and serves on the board of Shaftesbury Arts Centre, where she produces the programme, advertising and social media.

Ben Denham

Sponsorship & Revenue


About: Born and bred in North Dorset, Ben is a teacher at Gillingham School. Performing arts is one of Ben’s passions alongside running the local basketball team and previously being involved in international sports. Ben has performed on the stage at The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, in Shaftesbury at the Arts Centre and has been in a multitude of theatrical and singing events. He has even directed the odd village pantomime. Ben wants to help the Fringe grow from strength to strength.

Team fringe announce their open call for performers

Team Fringe celebrated at the top of the town’s iconic Gold Hill last week after announcing that the popular summer event is now open to performers to register.

The Fringe festival will again coincide with the North Dorset Gold Hill Fair so the team are working hard to build on last years success and fill the program with an even wider variety of artists.

Shaftesbury Fringe is ‘open access’ like the Edinburgh Fringe so anyone from anywhere can do anything they think will entertain people. Performers can contact the venue they fancy from a list of more than 50 in the town centre listed here.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in this years festival you can follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.

Meet the team: From left to right, back row – James Thrift (Website), Georgie Kirby (Social Media), Teresa Hatcher (Treasurer), Lee Hennessy (Team co-ordinator), Natalie Evans, Andy Tebbutt-Russel and Samantha (Joint Presidents), David Cohen (Sponsorship). Front row Rob Neely (Venues) and Richard Thomas (Press).


Samantha sings the shows…from the Grosvenor balcony.

If Shakespeare at Shaftesbury cattle market was one of the unlikeliest events of 2016, the performance of International singer Samantha from the balcony of the Georgian ballroom at the Grosvenor Arms Hotel in the town centre was one of the most moving. The audience in the main street, some 30ft below her to listen to her hour-long medley of songs from stage and screen, were blissfully unaware that Samantha suffers from a serious fear of heights – so throughout her hour-long performance she was in a state of near-panic!

“Fortunately there’s a sturdy handrail there I could hold onto very tightly – and I did!” said Samantha. “The crowd was blissfully unaware I was in a state of terror throughout the performance. But they obviously enjoyed it because some of them were even dancing impromptu in the road.”

The Grosvenor Arms Hotel has various rooms that will be available as venues for Shaftesbury fringe 2017 so if you are an artist and interested in performing here you can find all the information you need on the venues page.

60 Seconds with……YOU!

We would like to invite all our acts past and present to complete a mini Q&A for us to use as part of a feature we

will be running on social media.

Simply answer the questions below in an email and submit along with any photos and web links you would like to

include to:

Q: How did you first discover your talent?

Q: Which three words best describe your act?

Q: How many shows have you performed to date and which was your favourite?

Q: Which two fictional characters from film, literature or theatre would you replace your parents with?

Q: What was the best piece of advice you have been given by a fellow performer?

Q: What will you be performing at Shaftesbury Fringe 2017?

Remember to include your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram details so we can follow and tag you in posts and remember to use #shaftesburyfringe to join the conversation online.

Richard Thomas

Looking after: Press

Performance category: Comedy

Email: and

Bio: This is author and journalist Richard’s seventh arts festival, having organised Shaftesbury’s first arts and music festival in 2010 and 2011, been co-organiser of Shaftesbury Festival 2012-2014 and Shaftesbury Fringe in 2016. Richard will be looking after the Comedy category for Shaftesbury fringe 2017.