Random Orchestra Challenge - 8:45pm

Random Orchestra Challenge - 8:45pm

Postby Buzzovich » 01 Sep 2015, 16:32

The Venue
The cafe is the main area, with a hall & meeting room to the side. The meeting room worked well as our storage/green room and the hall is essentially just a big hall. Seated up to about 100. Sound was pretty cavernous but was fixed with some drapes around the place. It would benefit from having lights and some of the blinds didn't work, meaning some shows in the daytime really suffered from having a spot that blinded the audience. But all in all was a very lovely place. I heard some audience member say it was their favourite PBH venue and they came back and saw quite a few shows there.

Performance area
80-100 capacity room with space at the back for standing. No actual stage and PA that worked but was a tad temperamental (it's in house, not Harv's). Lighting was just the hall lighting which could be dimmed but no spots.

Technical set-up
Once we set up on day one, very little to do in terms of setup. We'd set some drapes enabling us to have a backstage area with the PA, which really helped.

All the staff were really lovely. Very friendly bunch who were really accommodating. The only downside is that the cafe normally closed at around 7 on weekdays and 9 on weekends, meaning that the later shows were often without a serving bar during performance, which lost them trade. It also meant the venue was quieter as a result.

Advertisement / Marketing
I was in the big brochure, but only a few people said they came because of that/the app. I think as Cafe Camino is further out, it's harder to get benefit form this. The "nearby" feature on the app (which I saw most people using) is sort of redundant if you're not in the centre. I had a bit of an issue being ripped off by a flyering company for 2 weeks' of flyering, resulting in me having no-one flyering for the first week (made a decision to take work in the day to offset costs this year so couldn't do any myself). In fact, every day I had someone flyering, I saw a bit increase in audience numbers. There was a direct correlation with flyers and crowd for me this year.

Audience / Bucket
Smallest audience = 1, biggest audience = 35, average audience = 15. Down on last year, but think lack of flyering & location might have affected this. Also, as I was on after normal out of festival closing hours, there wasn't a single person in the cafe during this time. So people often would walk in, see an empty cafe and walk out. Feedback from folk who were flyered on Royal Mile was that it was too far to walk. People are getting lazier it seems. Avg bucket was about £1-£1.50 p/p, and I often didn't push the bucket as much as I could (someone said I actively discouraged some people to give). Probably because it's hard to do a show about altruism and doing stuff not for financial gain, then asking for money. I also did something on the last night, where I got the entire audience up on stage, and we played to no-one. Then told them that, as they'd all performed they couldn't give any money in the bucket. From a financial point of view, it was stupid. But I liked the fact I left the festival playing the last show to no-one, and receiving no money.

The Show Itself
Had a lot of fun with this. A different show every night, chosen at random by the audience, allowing me to tell them about a bunch of different musical challenges I've done via the medium of videos, songs and mouthwords. then each night there was a pop-up concert with whatever musicians were in the audience. Had violins, keys, guitars, flutes, recorders, penny whistles, trumpets, clarinets and percussion all turn up at different points. I also had a lady come along to all 22 shows (from Glasgow) and play trumpet, which in itself was phenomenal. Feedback from those that saw it was positive, but almost everyone seemed to think it needed it's own category, falling somewhere between spoken word, music & comedy. If I did again, I'd probably say it was more spoken word, because I doubt a category such as "questy ted-talks" doesn't exist.

As VC, difficult to know if I communicated well, but I certainly had good communications from the acts and the venue. Everyone seemed to talk to one another and things went pretty smoothly. All in all, a good run I think.
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