23.30 - The Men Who Stare At Jokes

23.30 - The Men Who Stare At Jokes

Postby ABK » 11 Sep 2013, 17:18

The venue
The Banshee Labyrinth is a rock/alternative pub set into the vaults of South Bridge. The ceilings are low, beards and tattoos abound and it is very friendly. It's also an 18+ venue.

The performance area
We were in the Chamber Room, which seated 40-50. It offered a tech desk with controls for lighting and sound, and a raised stage for performance. The room gets very hot when its sunny or busy (like any unventilated underground room). We gave out hand-held fans to combat this.

The team of staff at the venue
The staff were fantastic. Very helpful in general, always happy to provide us with tap water to drink during the show even though the bar was often very busy. Dave, the bar manager was particularly helpful. He always made sure the room was cleared of glasses and debris and was very helpful when any tech problems arose. We bought the staff a jar of sweets and thanked them on their facebook page. They said they'd be glad to have us back.

How you advertised your show
2-4 of us flyered for 2-3 hours before each show, giving out approximately 7500 flyers. To save money, we weren't listed in the fringe guide. In retrospect, it might have been worth the paying to appear in the guide and spending less time flyering. The flyers had links to our Facebook page and Youtube channel with a video showing highlights from one of our Edinburgh previews.

How your shows went in terms of audience numbers
We had packed rooms almost every night. We regularly got 50-60 people, with many standing at the back or sitting on the floor. We had 2 or 3 quiet nights, with audiences of around 30. One of those was the England/Scotland match and the others were a consequence of heavy rain during our flyering time.

Your show itself
The show went well, after a rocky opening weekend. The much rowdier (and much scottisher) weekend crowd meant those shows could be quite chaotic. But the heckling was almost all good natured and funny. Because our show was a series of acts that helped keep things lively in out late timeslot. On hot days it was hard to keep people alert right to the end, but a mixture of handheld fans, party poppers and talking loudly seemed to do the trick.

We made around £1100 from 19 performances. Oddly, the best buckets didn't always correspond to the best performances.

Technical set-up at the venue
We had very few problems with the tech - the occasional dodgy mic cable, which the venue was quick to look at and fix. There wasn't much noise bleed, except on very hot nights when we left the doors open to create some air-flow. There is a small air conditioning device at the door, but it's a bit noisy and rarely made much of an impact on the temperature.

Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you)
Our Venue Captain was on before us in the same room, so it would have been easy to contact him with any problems. As it was, we didn't have any major problems, so we never felt there was a lack of communication.

Any other learning points for anyone involved
Some powerful fans or air conditioning would work wonders, but apart from that everything about the venue was very impressively.
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