Hawke's Bay festival goers now get double the fun in October with Fringe in the 'Stings offering a 'top-up' of festival frolics that are edgy, alternative and accessible.
In its second year, Fringe in the 'Stings is three nights of wild mayhem comprising comedy, circus and music in the heart of Hastings from October 5-7.
The four Fringe venues are all within walking distance from each other meaning audiences can move easily from one show to the next.
With ticket prices capped at $20 it's an accessible festival in more ways than one. Free family-friendly performances in Albert Park on the Saturday of the Fringe round out a festival that has something for everyone.
Andrea Taaffe, who chairs the Fringe Committee, said the performers were just as excited to be hanging out in Hastings, as they were to be performing their shows.
"Many of them have been before, some performed in different guises at our first Fringe in 2016, and they've spread the word to those performers they work with on other gigs," Ms Taaffe said. "They like it here, it's relaxed and easy and we look after them well. It's like a working holiday!"
Many of those coming to take part in the Fringe have TV experience and credits and many are award winners. There is also a cohort coming who were part of the Edinburgh Fringe and the New Zealand Fringe based in Wellington. Performers include James Nokise, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Sera Devcich, Tom Knowles, as well as members of the 7 Days and NZ Comedy Festival line-up.
Fringe in the 'Stings is part of the World Association of Fringe Festivals, which means it has access to an international network of performers.
While the focus is homegrown and features local acts, as it grows there is the opportunity to entice international acts to come.
The event is the initiative of a bunch of Hastings locals, supported by Hastings City Business Association, Hastings District Council and Creative New Zealand.
"The growth of the Fringe is good for business in Hastings, it's good for the hospo industry and for accommodation providers, but mainly it's good for audiences who are really hungry for as much festival action as they can get," Ms Taaffe said.
Fringe in the 'Stings runs from October 5-7 in Hastings. Events are at The Eastbourne, The Hastings Function Centre, Common Room and in a vacant shop at 211 Heretaunga St East, dubbed The Green Room. More info is at fringeinthestings.co.nz.