Capital Bar and Nightclub Report

Capital Bar and Nightclub Report

Postby StruanLogan » 01 Sep 2014, 12:40

This is a long report as Capital is a new venue that I feel has a lot of potential.

The venue has a lot of great qualities. The upstairs area is completely dedicated to the performers with a built in sound system and lighting that is easy to use. We were provided couches, pouffes and barstools for audience members to sit at. The venue can sit 55-60 at a squeeze, plus standing room. We were offered extra chairs by Frank but we turned them down as they would be too far from the stage. Before the fringe started the manager Anthony was very enthusiastic to make it work as a venue which is very encouraging and the staff were very nice and helped in any way they could.

Capital is in a good location as it is close to Hunters Square and the tables outside the Tron Kirk which are good places to promote your show for an hour or two before it starts. You also get a lot of people in who are walking along Cowgate just before the show. My own audience numbers had a lowest of 11 and highest of 60. The average for the run was around low to mid-20s. This felt especially successful since it was very rare people were in the bar having a drink in the early afternoon.

The biggest problem Capital has as a fringe venue is that people know it as a nightclub so people rarely drink in there during the day. This building of a reputation can only be changed through time and will certainly be improved by the fringe next year. The other minor downside to the room is the DJ booth behind the stage, as it reminds them they are in a nightclub rather than a fringe venue. This could be fixed next year with a PBH backdrop.

The venue needed cleared upstairs for the nightclub on Fridays and Saturday nights therefore set back up on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Initially we were told this would be done by the Capital staff. This changed very shortly into the run and the performers had to set the venue and put the chairs back downstairs. I do not think this is a problem as I understand members of staff not wanting to set up a room for performers who are using the room for free. The bigger problem was that some performers took umbrage to this by not showing up to help set up the venues even though many e-mails and reminders were sent and said in person. It meant there was a heavily reliance on some performers who helped a lot with the venue and others who did very little or nothing.

Recommendations to improve the venue for next year:
1) A black PBH backdrop to hide the DJ booth. It can be hung from the ridge sticking out of the top of the booth.
2) More laminated PBH posters and timetables since drunken customers would steal them when it was a nightclub.
3) A sign to make it more obvious to the public that comedy is on upstairs.
4) More posters for shows to be put into the windows to make it more obvious that Capital is a PBH venue during the day.

I would also like to add praise for Luke Burrage who worked incredibly hard in helping set up the venue, promoting his show and having a very successful run. Last we spoke he will not be performing at next year’s fringe but when he returns he will be an asset to whatever venue he is put into.
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