Reading Fringe Festival, the town’s premiere theatre and arts extravaganza, returns for 2017 with its fifth year and its biggest event yet. Read on for our guide to Reading Fringe Festival 2017, which covers everything you need to know about the events, including when, where and how much they are, as well as the acts to look out for, and what to expect at the festival.
When is the Reading Fringe Festival?
Tuesday 18 – Sunday 23 July, with events held at various times throughout the week.
Where is it?
Events are spread out across 14 venues in Reading, including PentaHotel, The Purple Turtle and South Streets Art Centre. This year the Fringe will also have a new base at the Dome at Station Hill. It’s a pop-up stage and bar area that will play host to the big music shows, arts workshops, children’s events and the Fringe Launch party.
How much is it?
Tickets are £5-£25, with over 30 shows available for under £10. Book tickets here.
What can I expect?
Over 70 theatre, film, art, comedy and music shows descend on Reading across one week, including burlesque from The Scarlett Vixens, a 48 Hour Film Festival and a powerful immersive production of Ibsen’s ‘A Doll House’ at a secret location.
It all kicks off on Tuesday 18 July, with a launch party at the Dome led by winners of BBC Two’s ‘The Naked Choir’ winners, Sons of Pitches.
A packed programme of music at the Dome also includes Future Worlds, a day-long world-music festival featuring Mercury Music Award-winner Talvin Singh (Saturday 22 July), and the BBC Introducing Summer Party (Friday 21 July), celebrating the best of Reading’s emerging bands, including Palm Honey, Twin Sun and Matt Maltese.
Elsewhere, the very funny 2016 English Comedian of the Year Josh Pugh is at The Rising Sun Arts Centre, on Saturday 22 July. Catch him before he starts his full comedy run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Also worth seeking out are award-winning Hull theatre company Middle Child. They bring their exhilarating gig/theatre hybrid project ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Everything’ to the Public on Thursday 20 July. It tells the story of the end of the world and broken dreams through concert, live rock and performance.
This year the Fringe also welcomes a cultural exchange of Dusseldorf-based acts in celebration of Reading’s 70-year-long twin town status with the west German city. Chief among these is longtime Kraftwerk collaborator Emil Schult, who brings a multimedia art explosion to South Street Art Centre on Saturday 22 July. You can also hear him in conversation at Waterstones on Friday 21 July.
There he’ll talking about his art and music projects, his time with Kraftwerk and more, all for free.
Can I bring children?
This year you can get the little ones involved with arts and culture at a dedicated programme of family events. Highlights include a reading from children’s author and poet AF Harrold, interactive giant bubble and maths puzzle game Bubbly Maths! and craft workshops from Jelly. See the full list of family friendly events on the Fringe website.
How do I book tickets?
Check out readingfringefestival.co.uk/events.
Want more things to do?
Read our full list of 15 cracking things to do in Reading in July.