20.45 - Bob & Jack Get Dangerous

20.45 - Bob & Jack Get Dangerous

Postby Bob Fletcher » 09 Sep 2013, 17:28

The Free Fringe George venue was renamed/rebranded as Bar Bados. This de-railed most people's shows, including ours to an extent, because it meant we had to alter our 1000 flyers. I'm guessing most other performers are going to reference this as a key problem this year. It mean that lots of people couldn't find us and it undermined the show quite a bit. The venue had sand on the floor everywhere and was designed to look like a Caribbean shack, which actually helped bring in a few people. When we were flyering we said "there's sand everywhere!" and this was bizarrely a draw. People were curious to see why and what this looked like. "oh, like that...", was the general view. The location had great footfall outside but it was mainly people going TO somewhere rather than roaming. If we had been allowed to have posters up in the window I think all our shows would have benefited massively.

The performance area was a room at the back with a door that was too big and needs plaining down. It was difficult to close - on the plus side people wouldn't go to the toilet because it would noisily draw attention to them! There was no raised stage but there was a makeshift spotlight. That said, the room was very well lit which made it hard create a clear focus/stage area. Booming bass music served as a bit of a distraction.

Got to say, whilst ostensibly friendly, mainly not helpful and fundamentally undermining the whole Free Fringe. They played loud music throughout the gigs, which easily got through the thin wood door. And when we would go out to ask them to turn it down, they would say "yes" then hilariously.. not do that. Also refused to allow us to have posters up in the vacant window. I don't think they understand the ethos of the Free Fringe or have a basic grasp of business: the FF is bringing them business they wouldn't get. They showed zero interest in helping. They charged £4 for a bottle of naff beer which set everyone in a resentful mood before we'd even began. Frankly, in my opinion, the owner clearly set out to abuse the festival and milk customers for every penny with expensive drinks and minimal co-operation to help acts. I would strongly avoid this venue - if it's in the same hands - next year.

Mostly flyering - we hired two flyerers for a couple of days at the end to boost numbers. We also made a trailer on YouTube to share around.

Numbers weren't great. The first and last day we got about 30 which was the highest. The worst was 2. In between varied from 8-13.

Personally felt like a lot was learned. Performing to small numbers makes you work harder for laughs and hone material, being more ruthless with gags that don't work.

Buckets were fine. Most we got was about £45, the least about £8.

The mic and PA were fine, but quite bassy. Couldn't work out how to fix that. And the mic stand was broken. Pretty basic all in all, but that's fine.

Pretty good. Often it was to relay that things have been stolen. I suppose in general there should have been a clearer strategy/conversation with the owners of venue. They really dropped the ball and let us down with their lack of co-operation. I think it would be asking a lot for the venue captain to be responsible for all that, so I don't know, maybe who ever originally got the venue arranged should have checked how sound the owners were? Though I understand people can be misleading buggers.

People pay more when they feel like they've really seen a show. I know that sounds like a silly thing to say... but what I mean is, a lot of effort being put in. "Bits" which display a well rehearsed talent. Or some sort of passion conveyed. I noticed that Free shows I went to that were best received had a lot of carefully planned elements. Videos, costume, re-hearsed raps, surprises, lighting, music, gifts/prizes. Obviously it would be wrong to go overboard with gimmicks but it's something to bear in mind.
Bob Fletcher
Posts: 5
Joined: March 2011

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