6:40 MAE DAY: I'M NOT WAVING I'M DROWNING show/venue report

6:40 MAE DAY: I'M NOT WAVING I'M DROWNING show/venue report

Postby MaeMartin » 21 Oct 2011, 10:18

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue
The Rat Pack is on Prince's street, a ten minute walk from Grass Market so it was sometimes a struggle to get audiences down as the walk-by traffic is less festival goers as it is people coming home from work. The venue itself is a beautiful music bar, very smart and with a great sound system. They have a clientele of mostly people in their 30s and 40s it seems.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?
No stage, but a performance area set up next to the piano. No stage lights, which made it quite dim although we erected some lamps that helped. Also the door to the venue opens almost right onto the stage, so when people would wander in for a drink it could be a bit disruptive. Nothing insurmountable, though.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?
Fantastic team of staff, so helpful, and always ready to help if you called/texted them. They hire someone to flyer for them on Fridays and Saturdays, and he was happy to take out our flyers and the Free Fringe flyers so this was a huge help and major bonus.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc
I did all of the above, but still had a really hard time recruiting mid-week audiences although the weekends would be packed, with no seats left. Friday, Sat, Sunday were usually full.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?
See above - yes definitely affected by weather, rain hindered things, and Mondays - Wednesdays sometimes very empty. I had a good time slot, from 6 40 - 7 40 so people came before they went off to the ticketed shows later in the evening. That was the impression I got.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
I had a great time doing the show and it evolved a lot over the course of the month. I had an opening act every day, which worked well. Obviously I learned a LOT! I think I came out of the festival more confident than I had been.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous
It really varied. It ranged from about 4 - 40 pounds. One night I got 60, which was my best night. Smaller audiences sometimes gave more than bigger ones who knew they could get away with putting loose change in the bucket.

- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
Some better lighting would be great, and even a riser, a black riser for a makeshift stage? But in general it's a great clean swanky venue with good sound.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
I was the venue captain and tried to be available to help out at all times, and did little things like fixing mics, buying lights etc. Hopefully I did an okay job!

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
This was my first time at the Fringe and next time I would try to strike a balance between guest spots and flyering, and although I loved the Rat Pack, I might like to move closer to the action up by the royal mile next time. All in all a great month and the staff at the venue were lovely and made it a pleasure.
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