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So we’ve unconditionally withdrawn our original offer in its entirety, but replaced it with an entirely different completely unconnected deal.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.