Ventnor Fringe Festival 2018: A peek at what not to miss and more

Enrich your soul this week and head to Ventnor for the Fringe Festival for a week of theatre, live music, comedy, talks, art workshops, exhibitions and more – you won’t be disappointed. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll never want to leave.

vfringe blue face

If you’re not into what Cowes Week offers, and are looking for something interesting, quirky and entertaining to do this week, head south to Ventnor for the 2018 Ventnor Fringe Festival.

There are over 70 performances of live music, theatre, comedy, talks and more taking place in a variety of venues across the town (including a secret venue for one of the launch events: more here) right up until next Sunday (12th August).

Getting us warmed up
The guys from Vaguely Sunny have organised a warm-up gig for this evening (Sunday), with Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth performing at St Catherine’s Church.

ventnor pier

Meanwhile, on Monday evening, Jo Thornton will be presenting a slideshow of Legends and Folklore of the Isle of Wight also at St Catherine’s Church.

All systems go
Tuesday sees the official launch of the Fringe Festival with a range of events taking place, including an outdoor screening of Wes Anderson’s, The Life Aquatic down on the Harbourside.

the life aquatic

Something for everyone
The variety of shows from the Performing Arts this year is truly outstanding. Many have already sold out so make sure you book today to avoid missing out.

There really is something for everybody, from a glimpse into the lives of those who lived through the Great War, to tales from storytellers to nourish the soul and feed the imagination.

Old Sole Theatre Company presents a new short play by James Neale; an ‘anti-stand up’ exploring fragile masculinity on a post-Weinstein stage.

brothers drug

Alternatively, Full Pelt Theatre present a seriously strange sketch comedy, where they invite you to get your bus pass ready for a whistle stop tour of Carpet Town.

Check out the listings for the huge range of theatrical performances.

Music for every possible taste
If it’s live music you’re after, there are pages of listings in the Fringe programme to choose from. Be it the Tom Waits Tribute on opening night, to the classical piano and clarinet duo of Earl Grey and Duke Box on Wednesday lunchtime.

cat skellington

There’s traditional and contemporary folk, vintage jazz, even a supergroup and one not to miss, world-renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora virtuoso, Tunde Jegede.


If you just want to party, don’t miss the DJ icon and stalwart of the UK hip hop scene DJ Format, who, with our very own homegrown talent, Cooly Haste, will be hosting a night of beats and rhymes down on the Harbourside.

Art, talks and more live music all in one place
All week you can head to art_house_life on Madeira Road (east of the town towards Bonchurch) for artworks inspired by Alum Bay from Jeremy P. Morgan (Associate Professor of Painting, San Francisco Art Institute) and including new artworks by Jo Kori and Albedo Marz. We popped in last night to take a look and they’re stunning!

art house life
There’ll be daily talks by the resident artists, who have generously opened up their home to the public for the week, along with live Gypsy Jazz from Cat Skellington on Friday and before he heads back to the States, Jeremy will be giving a talk on Saturday.

And there’s more
Ventnor is all-embracing of the Fringe as it takes over the town, from the seafront to the park and everywhere in between.

There are a range of bars and social spaces to enjoy with your friends. Don’t miss the busking and street acts, an arts trail, world renowned street art (more to come on that later), The Book Bus, The Errant Stage, Ventnor’s largest ever drawing workshop, pop-up street food and early evening dance lessons.


Ventnor Park takes on the feel of San Francisco’s urban parklife, with a craft beer tent, outdoor cinema, yoga mornings, games for the kids, talks and debates spanning science to politics, and even free music and performances.

Go on, feed your soul
Throughout the week, there is a huge range of unexpected and interesting events you can enjoy, so why not throw yourself into the Fringe and we’re sure you’ll come out the other end feeling much more enriched.

You can find details of all ticketed events through Events OnTheWight (thanks to Alpha for adding).


Whatever you choose to do for Ventnor Fringe week, have fun.

PS. Don’t forget our wonderful carnivals, the first on Wednesday evening (7pm) – followed by firework display and Saturday for illuminated parade (9pm)

PPS. Hats off to the Ventnor Fringe team (and their merry band of volunteers) – this year’s programme looks better than ever.

Sunday, 5th August, 2018 9:25am



Filed under: Comedy, Film, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Art, Music, poetry, Theatre, Ventnor, What's On

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