Covid-19 update for Monday 19th July onwards

From Monday 19th July, the government is removing many of the laws around Covid-19 protection, including the legal requirement to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

However, cases of Covid-19 are high and many of our staff, performers and audience members are not fully-vaccinated. To ensure the safety of all, we will be maintaining our current Covid-safety operations until the end of the Fringe.

  • Please continue to wear a mask in the venue, including throughout the performance, unless you are exempt.
  • Please maintain social distancing and try and keep space from those not in your own group.
  • Please sanitise your hands on entry.

One positive change is you can now buy drinks direct from the bar, without using the pub’s app.

If you would like to sit in a larger group than you booked in, including a group of more than six, just let us know at

We know all the rules aren’t fun, but we think it’s worth it. And we thank all our wonderful audiences for your continued support, as we bring live art – safely – back to Buxton.

Underground’s Bonanza Weekend! Up to 20% off ALL tickets

To celebrate the Buxton Fringe’s 40th anniversary, we’re having a Bonanza Ticket Sale this weekend!

From 6pm on Friday 28 June until midnight on Sunday 30 June* all tickets booked through will be 10% off. There’s 70 great shows at Underground this year to choose from and, as an added incentive, buy for two or more different shows at the same time and get 20% off the final total.

This deal applies even if you’re buying concessionary tickets for over-65s/students/Fringe Friends etc. And you can book for as many shows as you like, as many times as you like during the weekend.

All you need is the discount code BONANZA. Just enter this during the booking process, when asked for a discount code.

There’s never been a better reason to book your tickets for the Buxton Fringe! We’ve an incredible selection of top-quality comedy, theatre, music and kids shows from all across the UK, running at our two spaces, 3-24 July. And now you can see all the shows you want without breaking the bank.

So have a browse and get booking now (or from 6pm Friday!) at

And we look forward to seeing you at the Fringe!

*Update: if you’re on our mailing list you have a later expiry date, as specified in the email you’re about to receive.

Sales open for 2019

Tickets are now on sale for all 70 productions and 200+ performances at Underground this July.

Just head to to get started. And remember – no booking fees, transaction fees or card fees on any sales. And no need to sign up / make an account etc. – it’s super quick.

And – new for 2019 – we have a Previews season. For the first three days, until Friday evening, all shows at our two venues are only £5 for everyone. These are expected to sell well, so grab your tickets now!

Announcing our 2019 Season! (Press release)

Fringe venue group Underground have announced their line-up for the 2019 Buxton Fringe – the UK’s third largest Fringe Festival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this July.

The largest venue on the Buxton Fringe, Underground’s 14th programme is their longest ever, running 2 – 24 July, and aims to bring as many new people into the arts as possible. Additional dates extend into the school holidays, to allow for an increased offering of Children’s and Family shows, and a new Previews season at the start of the Fringe sees £5 tickets available for all shows in the first three days.

With 70 productions and 206 performances across two spaces, it’s the most concentrated collection of professional theatre, comedy and music currently in the North West.

Highlights of Underground’s 2019 programme include:

  • Brand-new work from acclaimed comedy stars:
       – Alfie Moore – fresh from the 4th series of his Radio 4 show Alfie Moore It’s A Fair Cop.
       – Tom Parry – star of Pappy’s (BBC 3, Radio 4) and three-times-nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.
    – Maisie Adam – winner of Amused Moose National New Comic, 2018
    – Alastair Beckett-King – winner of Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year, 2017.
  • White Light White Peak (Springing & Falling): a poetic and visual journey through the stunning Peak District landscape by Simon Corble – writer of the West End smash-hit The 39 Steps.
  • Funny In Real Life: a new comic play from real-life husband and wife team – Rob Rouse (Upstart Crow, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, The Friday Night Project) and Helen Rutter (Best Actress, Buxton Fringe).
  • New media collective Despite The Monkey, in association with Liverpool Everyman Playhouse, present two shows which fuse innovative 3D sound (via headphones), original music and storytelling: Debris (by Dennis Kelly) and Autopsy.
  • The premiere of a new show by Moscow-based satirist Oleg Denisov, one of the only Russian stand-up comedians working professionally on the UK circuit, prior to its European tour.
  • Fantastic high-quality productions specially for children, including:
    – Hey Diddle Diddle – a hugely inventive retelling of the classic nursery rhyme for ages 2 and up, from acclaimed company Goblin.
    – The Red Balloon – a charming staging of the classic 1956 film, from the award-winning Lucky Dog Theatre, perfect for ages 4-10.
    – Stop Not Being Silly – a high-impact, super-silly circus show suitable for the whole family and all ages.

Performances all take place 2 – 24 July, at Underground’s two spaces: Underground at the Clubhouse and Underground at the Arts Centre Studio.

Full programme and tickets available from

Teenage Kicks

We’re growing hair, getting up late, and shouting at our elders (The Pleasance, aged 33, is so old)… it can only mean one thing – Underground has become a teenager.

Our venue-group was founded in 2005 (anyone remember Tony Blair?) so this year’s Buxton Fringe (3-22 July) will be our 13th year of operation. We’re already feeling uncontrollably emotional and can’t wait to defy our cultural partners (The Festival isn’t our real dad anyway!!) by programming the most exciting, daring, cutting-edge line-up of events the North West has ever seen.

Want to be a part of it? Click here to register interest in our 2018 season, and we’ll be in touch when application open shortly.

Underground’s 12th season goes live

We’re proud to announce our programme has gone live for Underground’s 12th season on the Buxton Fringe.

You can now browse our entire programme online from and buy tickets online through our super-fast, custom-built ticketing system. What’s even better – there are absolutely no booking fees, card fees or transaction fees for any sales!

Tickets start from £7 (£5 for students). Why not take a look now…

Here are a few stats:

  • 68 different shows and events from the world’s of theatre,  comedy and music.
  • 155 performances, crammed into just 19 days.
  • 24 different stand-up comedians
  • 8 different countries represented
  • 7 history-themed shows
  • 14 shows involving music
  • 2 performers called Darren
  • 3 returning sell-out shows from 2016
  • 5 shows with numbers in the title (specifically: 1, 5, 10, 30, and “soixante” (60))
  • 2 performers impersonating teachers
  • 4 shows about murder
  • 88 metres (or 900 tickets laid end-to-end) between our two venues

Free shows for younger *people who go near polling stations but may or may not have voted*

UPDATE: Our original offer to encourage people to vote seems to have bothered some people, and we’ve some mildly alarming suggestions that we could get in trouble for doing so. Unfortunately our legal team can’t advise us because we’re a tiny arts business and they don’t exist.
So we’ve unconditionally withdrawn our original offer in its entirety, but replaced it with an entirely different completely unconnected deal. Instead, you can get free tickets if you go near a polling station. Because it’s a totally different offer, we’ve also upped the age bracket to anyone under 30. Updated text highlighted below.

In a few days, the country will go to the polling stations again. If you include the Scottish referendum, this will be the sixth national vote in seven years. And this one arguably offers the biggest difference in ideals than any general election in decades.

At the last election, 77% of over 55s turned up to vote, vs less than 43% of under 25s. Some people think that’s a good thing, that elderly voters have wisdom and experience and know what’s best. We think that’s rubbish. We were only 18 when we set this venue up.

So we very much encourage you to vote.

Anyway, now for something completely unrelated to the previous two paragraphs.

As a purely cynical marketing exercise designed to appeal to young people who probably like twitter and things like that, we’re offering free tickets to any show for anyone under 30 who can prove they stood outside a polling station on polling day – one each week of the fringe. No restrictions, no exclusions, and it doesn’t matter who you vote for. Or if you voted at all. Tweet/email a selfie at the polling station* and you’ll be added to a list, and as long as there’s space you can come into any show for free. And you can have everything after that at half price.

We’ve got some world-class stand-ups to choose from, as well as impro, sketch and musical comedy, and an unparalleled programme of thrilling theatre. For just three weeks each year, a cacophony of international talent flies** into Buxton, so take a look at who’s coming to town.

The more engaged young people are, the stronger our voices are. By definition, elected officials have to pay attention to the groups who might actually vote for or against them. So just by turning up, we make sure politicians listen to the whole electorate, whatever the result, now and in the future. And the younger we get engaged, the better we can hope for the future.

We challenge other local and national businesses to do the same thing. And also separately to encourage young people to vote (but obviously don’t offer them any extra incentives because that might not be legal). Democracy is strongest when turnout is high, and the earlier people engage, the better informed the electorate becomes.

We shouldn’t leave it to someone else’s voting habits to decide our lives, and for once young people have the power to determine the election. The High Peak is one seat that could go either way, so whoever you think about when you stand near a polling station, get out and do it.


*A picture outside is best, there are various rules on photos inside.
**I mean, arrives on the slow train from a connection at Stockport.



To be fair to our artists, we can only offer freebies to shows that aren’t selling out, so you can only claim on the day, and in some cases you might have to wait until just before. But we can normally squeeze extra people into most shows. You can have one free ticket each week, between the 5th and 23rd July. No rollovers unfortunately, and the week restarts on a Monday.

To prove you stood near a polling station on polling day, you should send us a selfie at the polling station, on polling day. The rules around photography in voting booths are complicated, so even if you happen to vote while you’re there, a picture outside is best. Obviously make sure you’re in it, and it’s at our discretion whether we’re convinced by your photo. (You don’t actually have to be standing).

You can genuinely have the offer whether you voted or not, even if you’re not on the electoral roll.

Also, ‘half price’ tickets means you’ll pay what our performers pay, which is roughly half price but varies a little show to show.

Work with Underground: Theatre technician opportunity

Job advert:

Underground Venues is the leading venue-group on the Buxton Fringe, hosting 68 shows and events in two theatre spaces. We operate for three weeks every July, bringing together an exciting mix of artists, producers, audiences and festival volunteers.

This year our venue operates 29 June – 25 July July (including get-in and get-out).

The Buxton Fringe is the 3rd largest Fringe in the UK and our programme of work this year includes a fantastic range of top-class touring theatre, award-winning stand-up comedy and Edinburgh Fringe previews.

We are looking for a theatre technician join our existing team for the three weeks and manage one of our studio spaces. The post involved rigging and plotting lights, helping acts with tech rehearsals, managing changeovers between shows, familiarising companies with the technical equipment and sometimes operating shows. You’ll meet and work with a huge variety of national and international touring companies.

We cover all accommodation and transport costs, with a fee/expenses negotiable dependent on experience. Our technicians also have the opportunity to see a wide range of Fringe shows for free and the post is a great opportunity to meet artists and others working at the venue.

Some experience or training of working as a theatre technician is essential. Experience working in a Fringe or festival context is desirable. The post is open to all but may well be suited to a student or recent graduate looking to further their experience working with professional companies.

Dates in Buxton are 29 June til 25 July (though there is some flexibility on this if necessary). All accommodation and transport to/from Buxton is covered.

To apply, please send your CV and expression of interest (or any questions) to

Press release: A new home for Buxton Fringe’s largest venue

From the Underground press office:

The Buxton Fringe’s longest running venue has received a new lease of life, in the form of a new base above The Clubhouse pub in the centre of town.

After 10 years and 1,500 performances hosted under the historic Old Hall Hotel, Underground Venues were forced to move this year to make way for the multi-million pound Crescent Spa redevelopment project. Luckily their prayers, and those of 70 companies from across the globe, have been answered by the offer of a new home just over the road.

Artistic Directors Yaz Al-Shaater and Tom Crawshaw have developed ‘Underground at the Clubhouse’, a 70-seat performance space which will house a community of 60 artists, theatre companies and comedians and an audience of thousands over three weeks in July. The venue will also host Buxton’s exclusive new Fringe Club, a box office and information desk, and ‘The Buxton Festival Fridge’: a curated performance and exhibition space in a real-life fridge.

Underground will also be returning to the Pavilion Arts Centre for the Fringe, to house a further 43 larger-scale performances.

Co-founder Yaz Al-Shaater said “We’re really pleased to have found a place packed with potential, to continue what we started over a decade ago. We pretty much grew up on the Buxton Fringe so it’s an honour to return each year and give something back, by bringing together artists from all over the world and introducing them to the Fringe, and to Buxton.”

Yaz continued “We always have a blast building the programme, because the Buxton audience is brilliant, there’s always a great atmosphere and no-one’s ever scared to try something new. I can’t wait to see what people think of the work we have lined up this year.”

Co-founder Tom Crawshaw said “We were sad to see the Pauper’s Pit close, but can’t wait to open our new space at The Clubhouse. We both have many fond memories of performing at The Clubhouse when it was run by Martin Beard as Venue 21, and we are very excited that we are able to put The Clubhouse right back at the centre of the Fringe, where it belongs.”

Underground’s programme this year features performances from every genre, as well as work from across the globe. Highlights include ‘Fringe First’ winning Edinburgh-hit Labels, Funny Women Award winner and rising star Harriet Braine, and Edison – a bold experimental retelling of the life of Nikola Tesla from Philadelphia-based ensemble Static Assembly.

This year’s Buxton Fringe runs 5-23 July, with the Launch Party at Underground’s new space on Tuesday 4 July.

Underground goes Overground for 2017

We are very pleased to announce that Underground Venues has arisen from the loss of our original home under the Old Hall Hotel, to find a new home for 2017 in festival hub The Old Clubhouse. Following eleven successful years, Underground will return with another hand-picked programme of events at the 2017 Buxton Fringe.

Popular with Festival and Fringe audiences for many years, The Old Clubhouse, opposite the historic Opera House, will form our new base of our operations. A brand new theatre space for 2017 will join an all-day Fringe Club and information desk, while the Arts Centre, just over the road, will continue to host our larger-scale acts.

Underground Venues 2017 will run 4-23 July.

Applications for all types of performance will open at the very start of February.

Keep an eye on the website and our Twitter and Facebook for more information.