Just when you thought Brighton Fringe was over, think again. There is still one final showcase for the Fringe to put on before it disappears until 2019. Jamie Walker sat with Sarah Perryman to find out more.

WORKING the Brighton Fringe is a year-round job – at least that’s how Sarah, the event’s participation and development manager, sees it.

Despite the fact that the month-long bout of gigs and shows only lasts 30 days, the preparation and set up that goes into it is more than enough to fill up the other 11 months of the year. Now, the Fringe is all but packed away, but the organisers still have one last hurrah to perform before preparations for next year can begin.

A Midsummer Night’s Fringe hits the Brighton Open Air Theatre on July 3, with a host of performers hoping to help the event raise funds for2019. “We raise a lot of money every year to make Brighton Fringe happen. This is our first dip at a fundraising event, as such, and it’s looking very good so far and I think it is going to be a great evening.”, Sarah explains. “As a lot of people know we’ve recently been successful with a crowdfunding campaign, we’ve raised over £20,000 to underwritet next year’s Fringe.”

The money the crowd funder needed was raised in just 35 days, a staggering amount in such a short space of time, which proves popularity of the Fringe in Brighton.

Sarah said the organisation was touched by the show of support across the fundraising period, “We had such lovely messages of support the whole way through,” she adds. “It was really heart-warming to hear from people what the Fringe means to them, but particularly from the performers because they’re at the heart of what we do.”

The thing that people may not know about Brighton Fringe is that it is a registered charity. As such, they do not receive any public funding or funds from Brighton and Hove City Council, with about five per cent of funding coming from trusts and other foundations.

Sarah spoke to me about where much of the funding for the Fringe comes from. She says: “There is a mix of where our income comes from. Ticket sales are obviously a big portion of it, registration fees that we charge people to take part, we also raise a lot of money from sponsors and corporate partnerships, we have our friends scheme as well, so it is a mixed bag.

“Similar to the fact that the Fringe would not exist without our artists, it also would not exist without our audiences either. They are a huge part of showing the city wants the Fringe to be here.”

A Midsummer Night’s Fringe is set to host a variety of talents across the world of music, comedy, dance and much more. Sarah adds that it is the acts that offer their services rather than the other way round.

“A lot of our performers contacted us and said ‘we’d really like to perform for you, what can we do’.”, Sarah says. “A lot of the performers have got quite strong links to us so they might have received bursaries from us in the past or received Brighton Fringe Awards, which have helped them to put work on elsewhere.”

With Brighton Fringe approaching its celebratory end for this year, focus now turns to 2019 and another fantastic year of Fringe activities. Sarah gave me a flavour of how preparations are going for next year. “There’s a lot of people coming to help us out because it’s been a good success for them.

“We are already having some very exciting conversations with different artists. This year we extended our season’s programme, so we had our first freedom season which celebrated and highlighted work for and by people with different disabilities. We have also had talks with various different European countries, in terms of bringing work over from various different places. We are in very early stages but it’s all very exciting.”

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