Postby The Ruby Darlings » 01 Nov 2013, 12:47

The Venue:
The venue is massive, eith a capacity of 100 seated (theatre style) and a potential for a further 30-40 standing. City/Sportsters is a Nightclub, it feels and looks like a large Nightclub. It is best suited to large shows with low technical requirements. The venue suffered a fire and a couple of floods during the Ed Fringe, whilst the floods were just unlucky timing, the fire was caused due to the lights not being cleaned properly and then being left on for a full day. Whilst Matt (the venue technician) dealt with problems as fast as he could we did have to move venue 3 times. The main issue with the Venue however is that it is poorly sign posted so audiences couldn't find it - luckily we had a team of 6 performers meaning half could quickly set up the show whilst the other half ensured people found the venue (this might be problematic for smaller groups who don't have the man power!) Also, the Venue seemed to have 2 names City Nightclub and Sportsters, we would advise putting BOTH names on your flyer to save confusion!

The Performance Area:
Great size stage for our show, 2 performers, 4 piece band, dance numbers. The inhouse lighting didn't work however another show (who were edinburgh based) sourced some lighting which we shared.
Sound wise - we had our own sound operator who set up and controlled the mixing desk and levels at each show. Large storage area (not completely secure but we kept all sound equipment there and it was fine, however we didn't leave sax or guitar just in case!)

Venue Staff:
With the exception of Matt and Molly we didn't really interact with the nightclub staff. There were a couple of communication issues, we had props and flyers sent to the venue, nobody seemed to know anything about them however after a bit of a nosy i found all our deliveries hidden at the back of the cloakroom. This happened with our 2nd delivery of flyers as well!

We were not in the main fringe programme as we missed the deadline. We would definitely want to be in the main programme for the next edfringe - the app is v useful and it was a pain not being able to direct people to the edfringe website. We ordered 5000 flyers and then a further 3000 in week 3. The group flyered everyday, the most effective flyering was just before the show and directing people straight into the venue. Being a Free show had its benefits but it's important not to 'sell' the show on it being free, this can be a turn off as well! Whenever we had to change venue, we stuck notes on all our flyers and posters and posted someone at City Nightclub to direct any lost audience right up until the last minute!

We were very pleased with our audience sizes average of about 80, the smallest we played to was 30 and the largest was 120. The venue felt empty with anything under 40. Our show uses a lot of audience interaction and at times the space and the lighting wasn't great for this.

Buckets were good, average take home was about £100 (just over a £1 per audience member). However our Buckets were most successful at the Vodoo rooms. We feel the smaller venues were better for the audience interaction which equated to a better show and better buckets.

Technical set-up:
Without our sound guy we would have struggled to rig a proper sound system. However i think most other shows only used a mic. It is not a suitable venue for a straight play with no mics, volume would be a problem.

Admin & Communication process:
Unfortunately we were sent an out of date Tech Spec from the venue - this meant we turned up with a full band and no sound mixing desk to run everything through. Luckily our drummer happened to have a mixing desk in Stirling so we had it sent down. Short of this we would have had to hire, a cost we hadn't accounted for! It is worth remembering that you are on your own - if there are problems you have to fix them, our Venue Captain quit his position after a few days. Luckily the other performers were more committed and between us we managed to get the shows up and running.

This was my third Fringe but first Free Fringe and it is a TOTALLY different experience. You are very much left to your own devices and if you don't have a committed venue captain it can be a struggle at times. Would have been great to have a Venue Captain who organised a tech rehearsal schedule so that there wasn't any overlap - at the beginning none of the performers or the venue knew when anyone was teching/rehearsing so it was a bit of a free for all! That said, the other performers/shows were brilliant. Matt and Molly were lovely and although the venue was tricky it was big enough to fit our larger audiences! We will definitely be applying to do the Free Fringe again however would want to go into a venue that more suits our style and needs.-
The Ruby Darlings
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Joined: November 2013

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