Postby Scary Little Girls » 19 Sep 2013, 15:41

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue.

Fingers Piano Bar is a bar with a resident live pianist that is regularly frequented by a range of clientele that arrive after the pubs shut, as it opens till 5am.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?

Fingers has a small stage of around 3m x 5m on a curve. This is the home of the grand piano and there is some room either side and in front of the piano but not much. A small dressing room was created which, was brilliant!

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?

No, the show did not get in the way of the normal business. Fingers give their venue over to the shows and served drinks to the audience for revenue - then they go back to normal after the final act. Yes – Billy and the staff all helped us clear up, load and unload. They were simply amazing to us from beginning to end.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc

All of them – we were in the PBH Free Fringe programme, Ed Fringe programme (which we will not be paying for again if PBH will have us back), posters all over the city and a strict flyering rota that had us hand out 9000 flyers in the three weeks. We had around a 1000 left from the 10,000 we ordered.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?

Totally varied day by day – there was usually a lower day (either on a Wed/Thurs) for each of the three weeks but the lowest audience we had was between 25/30 and we had “show full” signs up outside (60 was a full house) and at least 10 shows out of the 19 – the rest of the days, were somewhere in the middle of those two figures. Did not notice the weather affecting the audience as it was lovely for most of the festival.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

Some of the sight lines were an issue, as there is a whole side section of seating, that means the audience can not see the SR side of the stage but we can play to them by moving and doing the visual gags straight to them. Also the first three rows could see the floor gags, our show was quite physical, the rest of the audience missed them.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous

Very Generous!!!!

- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

The sound was set up by Johnny and he was awesome. The lighting is very minimal but we could be seen, just. Having them help was essential!! So grateful and they did not seem to mind!

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change.

Venue Captain was there at our get in and we only properly hooked up near the end of the run. She answered any questions we had. I personally would have liked my tech time the day before – we did not get it till the day of the tech and sooner would have helped out planning from our end. Not a big thing but there is so much to do for every troupe who comes up and that would have helped us.

We did not have a contact for Luke - he is in charge of the cabaret section, that would have been really helpful for questions - he was awesome help when he came to the get in and gave a over huge amounts of info that was invaluable to first time PBH'ers.

Kate Smurtewaite was a huge help all the way through.

Also from the Free Fringe – we received many emails explaining how things worked, a more comprehensive calendar would have been helpful – programme blurb to be in ??/??/???, venue captain will contact you by ??/??/????, donations in by….etc. You get where I am coming from; having a calendar with all the important dates/times in once place would be great – we were constantly thinking we had missed a date or something important and we did not want to let PBH down.

Also some of the emails contained content that to first time PBH fringers that was irrelevant – we were confused as we did not know the politics of previous fringes and had no idea what was going on and we felt slightly alienated as they were written as we were supposed to know what had/what was going on.

Cann Print
Flyers were late, they did not communicate – we regularly could not get through to them, when we did we were told different things – they said the things that they thought we wanted to hear. Luckily, for the first few days, when the flyers were not there, we just used the PBH Programmes and then when the flyers showed up, 3 days into the run, which was a week later than the original arrival date we received, we flyered with the flyer and the programme as we were supposed to do!
The flyers did not come altogether as we were told, they arrived in dribs and drabs and the whole print run got to us by the end of the second week. I am being honest as these were your recommended printers and we took that on good faith that their, competitive prices (which they were) was matched by the professionalism and delivery and this was not the case, time management and customer service were appalling.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

We would have liked a queuing system – so that our audiences did not start dribbling in, whilst the show before us was on.
If the people are queuing outside – it creates a buzz on the pavement and then as soon as the show before you has finished, their audience either stay or they leave and the new ones come in.
There is still time to buy drinks so Fingers get the revenue. And likewise for the audience that came to see the show after us, we had their audience dribbling in as we were finishing up and it is distracting. The audience change over just felt messy and could be tightened up.


Please be constructive, for any downside you mention, please try to suggest a solution

Please do not be personal, offensive or libellous
Scary Little Girls
Posts: 1
Joined: July 2013

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