Barnstaple Fringe, was specifically programmed to help encourage business in local bars and restaurants Barnstaple Fringe welcomed both upcoming and established artists from the local area and beyond to come and perform across the town and featured unconventional performances covering a wide spectrum of genres - jazz, folk, blues,country, bluegrass, bhangra, soul, americana, comedy, performance poetry, fringe theatre and more.
Participating Barnstaple hot spots included Lilico’s, Zena’s, Pilton Hall, Marshalls, The Olive Branch, The Riverfront, North Country Inn, Castle Green, The Factory, Gallery Café, The Inn on the Square, Claytons, Boston Tea Party and The Platform, plus Broomhill Art Hotel on the 'fringe of the fringe'.
The Art Trek open studios event represents local artists as they open the doors of their homes and studios to celebrate the quality and diversity of the arts and crafts made in the beautiful North Devon area.
Studios include National Trust properties, art galleries, cafés, school rooms, ateliers and homes spread amongst the area’s coast and countryside which so inspires our artists, whose disciplines range from painting, sculpture, printmaking, textiles and jewellery to photography, stained glass, wood-carving, furniture, ceramics and multi-media.
We are grateful to Stella Levy for her encouragement and co-ordination in getting so many artists involved.
North Devon Theatres produced the Art Trek event for ten years until 2013. Art Trek now continues to evolve under the guidance of North Devon Arts
The month long North Devon Festival, which brought together arts, entertainment and community events every June took place for the last time in 2011 after 13 successful years. However the Festival's cultural legacy will live on in the many local, annual events which continue each June and throughout the year in North Devon.
Events such as GoldCoast Oceanfest, Barnstaple Fringe, Art Trek and Fringe Theatrefest have gone from strength to strength and continue to take place. Although there is no longer a focus on June, the North Devon Theatres support numerous arts and cultural events throughout the year in North Devon.
When it first began in 1999, the festival ran for 16 days involving just 27 events. It evolved into an amazing large scale 'festival of festivals' spanning the whole month of June and featuring over 200 events in hundreds of locations throughout the region.
Spanning 13 years from 1999 to 2011, the North Devon Festival attracted nearly a million people to participate in events, 40% of whom came from outside the region. This in turn helped develop the tourism of the area and, in the last five years of the Festival alone, it generated an incredible £47 million for the economy of North Devon.
The North Devon Festival included high quality arts and entertainment events as well as many other events associated with the traditions of the people and the character of the region. Music, dance, literature, touring theatre, traditional fayres, visual arts, sport and the natural environment were the key components of the 200+ main events in 70+ towns and villages. It covered the entire region from Holsworthy to Lynton and Ilfracombe to Witheridge as well as the main regional towns of Barnstaple and Bideford.
A large part of the region was awarded 'Biosphere Reserve' status by UNESCO (United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in acknowledgement of the area's distinctive environmental and social features. It has 300 miles of stunning coastline, designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, the wild magnificence of Exmoor and the traditional pastureland of the Ruby Country. The North Devon Festival’s events imaginatively highlighted these features and provided even more reason for visitors to come to North Devon in June and for local communities to 'be part of it'.