French Quarter 12:20 (4-18 Aug) Crunch the News

French Quarter 12:20 (4-18 Aug) Crunch the News

Postby beckyluff » 30 Nov 2012, 16:40

12:30 - 13:15 Crunch the News – French Quarter (4-18 Aug)

The venue is a private room downstairs from the main bar / restaurant. The bar has a mixed clientele – at that time of day (lunchtime) most people are there to eat. We would often head up after shows to grab lunch - the food at the Voodoo Rooms is excellent.

The performance area was a private room with its own bar. It had a small raised stage at the front and rows of seats seating about 50 people. The stage was slightly small for so many people (largely we had 4-5 people on stage), but we made it work by using the back seats. A theatrical group might struggle with the stage size, but stand ups would be fine.

Staff: We were separate from the main bar and so didn’t get in the way of normal business. One member of staff would cover the bar before and during the gig – and all were friendly and helpful, particularly with helping with the lights and arguing nuclear policy with guest MSPs. Whenever we had any problems with the tech (which was usually just due to us hesitating before turning things on or off) the duty manager was great.

Advertising: We advertised our show through the fringe brochure, free fringe brochure, daily flyering and via social media and other online means. We also had a good word of mouth as we had local Edinburgh guests who often attracted their own audience. Flyering just before the show was also particularly useful.

Audience: This was our first Edinburgh show – and the first time of doing this format of show – and we were positively surprised by the numbers of people who attended. Numbers ranged from about 20 on quiet days to being so full as to have to turn people away. Rain helped to fill the venue, as did having particular names on the bill.

The show itself: The show was a daily news chat show which brought with it positives and negatives. Positives were that being topical it was a different show each day and seemed to appeal to people to start their Edinburgh day. Having a different line-up each day meant quite a bit of preparation was needed each morning before the show. Also this summer was a bit of a news washout because of the Olympics. Generally we were pleased with how the show turned out, though it had plenty of room for improvement in the future – particularly getting the format a bit smoother.

Buckets: We were surprised by people’s generosity – we got more than we thought we would (although this may have been because our expectation was low, as often it was less than other Free Fringe performers said they were averaging). The buckets were often skewed by a few people giving generously, which made up for a significant amount of audience members not giving anything.

Technical set-up: the venue had very good basic technical set up including two mics, mic stands and channels for an extra mic (if you brought your own). As our show was a panel format with up to five people on stage, we had to make the decision between asking people to share mics or doing it without mics. Nearly every day we did the show without mics, which seemed to work. The venue also had Di cables and input for an MP3 player which were very useful. The tech was simple to use and the run through that we were given by Brendan at the beginning was very helpful!

Admin and Communication: We found general communication good – between Free Fringe, venue and venue captains. There was a good sense of community within the Voodoo Rooms, which helped to reassure us as newbies.

Other learning points: Being our first time, everything felt like a learning points. One key learning point was to learn to trust that once things were in place, it was time to relax a bit and enjoy it! Overall we were really pleased to be part of the Free Fringe and really happy with the Voodoo Rooms as a venue, and hope very much to come back again in the future.
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