Venue Captain report for MOOD nightclub and general overview

Post here anything relating to the 2013 Free Fringe; show share, accommodation share, issues, other ways of helping the team

Venue Captain report for MOOD nightclub and general overview

Postby kevin short 9 » 29 Aug 2013, 11:17

VENUE CAPTAIN (Kevin Short) REPORT for MOOD NIGHTCLUB (Venue 275)

The Venue:

A good space within the club was selected, and although much preparation had to be done initially (cleaning chairs, making sufficient advertising areas, and generally making the space appealing) as the festival progressed, the space and the atmosphere became more attractive to all.

However, more pre-knowledge of the venue would have helped. The technical side was sometimes hard to cope with, as the in-house technical person (Jim) was not very amenable, and it was left to the managers and ever-helpful staff to cope with any technical problems.

Also, it was unfortunate that the venue had not got a license to sell alcohol until 5pm at night, which really cut down any profit from sales considerably. It may be good for the Free Fringe to alert venues in advance for the need to apply for extended entertainment and drinking licences, in order for them to capitalise best they can.

We suffered greatly from confusion as to where the venue was. Mood Nightclub changed locations this year, yet it was still listed in the The List magazine, on phone apps, and other papers and periodicals, at the previous address, causing potential audiences not to find us, or arrive late for shows. I did my best to correct this by emailing The List and others, but it was really too late in the day to do too much. Also, I was alerted to the fact that MOOD was not even listed as a venue on the PBH Free Fringe site – the shows were listed but the venue was not in the Venue List. Again, by the time we found this out it was too late. PBH Free Fringe really should have attended to this problem on accepting the venue as a venue in the first place, I feel.

We also had a few shows that came in at the last minute it seems, filling in gaps of shows that dropped out. One of which ‘Addy’s Time’ arrived without any flyers, and after a couple of appearances, decided not to turn up at all, leaving the slot empty. The other extra date shows, such as Trevor Lock, The Lipsinkers, were professional to a fault, and although they struggled for an audience, they persevered, and were rewarded in the end.

The standard of acts was very high, and most shows had a very good turn out indeed, though the potential was never truly reached as we did struggle with the new location of the club, as mentioned above.

I, as Venue Captain, worked from 12.30pm till 8.30pm daily (later on club nights when we had to dismantle the space) apart from a few times when I had to attend to personal problems, or have an hour’s break. I did my best to keep the venue a welcoming place for both audience and artists, and tried to solve in-house problems as they arose. It was, unexpectedly, a full-time job, fitting in a performance of my own in between. This job is something that I think should be thought about more seriously by the PBH Free Fringe, and also explained to potential Venue Captain’s in a more comprehensive way.

Finally, I see that more and more venues seem to be in need for next year, and the expression Less is More comes to mind. Would it not be better to have fewer well-operated, well programmed, and well equipped, quality venues, than more and more inefficient and random venues.

The Edinburgh Fringe is big enough, if it is to grow in quality and content, more overall consideration has to be put into the spaces we provide for both artists and audience. Small can be beautiful and contained; unnecessarily Big can be ugly and chaotic.

My advice to PBH’s Free Fringe, for what it’s worth, would be to rein it in, and truly capitalise on its previous success by simply getting more organised, and avoiding the pitfalls of an out of control rollercoaster. It is a great creation, now it just has to be refined and nurtured. Bigger is not necessarily better.

However, when all is said and done, I met some great artists, had a fun time, and have returned suitably exhausted.

Good Luck to all for PBH’s Free Fringe 2014!

Kevin Short
(Venue Captain at Mood Nightclub)
kevin short 9
 
Posts: 3
Joined: August 2013

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