Thursday, 14 August 2014

Stockport Old Town Fringe Festival 2014

The revitalisation of Stockport's Old Town continues apace, with more independent traders opening up all the time and the Fringe Festival scheduled for the end of August.

The festival, taking place across the final weekend of August ( Friday 29 to Sunday 31), stands as a benchmark of the new cultural life being breathed into the area, following a successful Portas Pilot bid in May 2012. The schedule includes artisan food and drink, comedy, live music, art installations and workshops.

The focal point of the festival will be the market hall, affectionately known as the 'glass umbrella', whose outdoor courtyard will host Foodie Friday from 6pm on 29 August, featuring a range of culinary stalls and live music.

Nearby, the popular new arts venue Seven Miles Out is taking centre stage for a range of events and activities, including the last of Mojo Bravo Comedy Club's series of Edinburgh Fringe preview shows featuring Vikki Stone.

Other highlights include a music performance by the lively Gideon Conn, whose upbeat and quirky crossover of hip hop and folk never fails to raise a smile, and there are family activities across the whole weekend, such as Pif Paf's magical tours around the Old Town on their Flycycle and Submercycle inventions.

In February 2012, Stockport gained the unwelcome accolade of being the large town centre with the highest shop vacancy rate in England and Wales. Since then, locals have secured Portas Pilot funding which has been ring-fenced to invest in plans to add life to its neglected and waning independent trade in the town. Among its programme of events, the Fringe Festival will display the new vibrant spirit instilled in Stockport and in particular the Old Town.

Ian Pennington

For more information about the event and Stockport Old Town, visit their new website.

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