Help Guildford Fringe Festival survive Covid-19

April 6, 2020

Dear Fringe Supporter

This is not an easy message to write down, in fact it has taken several attempts and there has been many a tear shed already.

I have come to the decision to cancel Guildford Fringe Festival 2020.

Cancelling something that has taken years to build is heart-breaking but we have to be realistic. Even if we are allowed to meet in theatres, pubs and venues and enjoy Guildford Fringe Festival events it isn’t as simple as that. We need to market the event, something that we have already started doing. One of the major costs of the Festival is the design, print and distribution of the brochure. Although we have started designing the brochure we haven’t committed to any other costs. The brochure alone costs us around £15,000, to commit to this with the risk of the Festival not going ahead is too much for us to take. Also, the acts need to rehearse ahead of the Festival and if we are in lock-down until May/June this make it very hard for them to do. What I am saying is even if we were allowed to do the event in July there is a lot that needs to happen before then, by us and the 100 odd acts that were planning on coming to us.

The long and the short of it is that we need to cut our loses and pull the plug, as horrid as it is to say. We have already spent a considerable amount of money on Guildford Fringe Festival 2020 but to spend more would just be careless and reckless for a small business like ours.

At Guildford Fringe we really only have 2 seasons that make us money, Summer with Guildford Fringe Festival and Winter with Guildford’s Adult Panto. I now need to buckle down and figure out a way to get through this with losing one of these seasons. I promise you I will do everything I can.

I hope you have seen our online shows via social media. We were one of the first comedy clubs to take comedy live online in the UK during this epidemic so believe me when I say I am doing all I can to keep going. I hope you have enjoyed the comedy and opera this weekend.

This next bit is very hard and awkward for me to write as we have never done anything like it before and really hoped we never would. We have launched our first Crowd Fund Campaign. Right, I have said it. We have never asked for money for nothing before but to ensure that Guildford Fringe Festival will be back in 2021 I feel I need to. On the Crown Fund page there are several ‘rewards’ that you can purchase, some a bit of fun and some have monetary value. They range from joining Gyles Brandreth and Jenny Seagrove as Patrons to receiving a virtual hug via one of our social media pages. I would love for you to have a look and, if you can, support us. I do not have a blindfold on, I know we are not the only ones suffering so if you are struggling yourself your support by sharing the Crowd Fund link on social media would be equally appreciated.

  • Scroll to the bottom of this message for the link to the Crowdfunder Campaign or CLICK HERE

Charlotte is now Furloughed and therefore isn’t able to work. If you are trying to get hold of us please keep in mind that I am dealing with emails and calls that would usually be split between two people, I will get back to you ASAP.

Running Guildford Fringe Festival is a complete pleasure. We adore being part of the community and adding to Guildford’s cultural scene, I hope this can continue in 2021 and onwards.

Enough doom and gloom for now. We will continue to bring you shows to your homes via social media so please do keep tuning in and spreading the word.

Please see the Crowdfunder below.

Keep safe, keep positive and keep creative,

Nick Wyschna
Managing Director
Guildford Fringe Festival

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