Camden Comedy Free Lunchtime Showcase

Camden Comedy Free Lunchtime Showcase

Postby Alastair Sadler » 02 Sep 2015, 17:04

'Camden Comedy Free Lunchtime Showcase' show 437 - Whistlebinkies 12.15-1.15pm

The Venue
Whistlebinkies had two entrances, one on South Bridge and one at the top of Niddry St. In short perfect location.
I cannot praise the venue and the team that run it enough.
Everyday I arrived it was clean and tidy with toilet paper and soap.
The staff were professional and friendly. It seemed that everyone could sound engineer, pull a pint and clear up with a smile and without a winge even if they had finished at four am the night before.
I left my phone there at 1pm and the staff had labelled it and tucked it away and kept it safe until the next day, awesome! A cable went missing so the sound guy donated his own!
The only down side was an occasional smell of wee from the ladies toilet by the stage, but not enough to take the....

Performance area

50-60 capacity room with space at the back for standing. We topped seventy on Saturday with ten sitting in the bar listening to the show via speakers. Good six inch high stage, lights and sound. Long mic leads and dx boxes in short everything. A gap down the middle which was perfect for getting out into the audience.


Advertisement / Marketing
The big brochure was a waste of money but the flyering team wasn’t. I averaged two flyerers per day in the hour before the show. Next year I would go for three flyerers weekdays plus golf signs. There was a direct relationship between the weather and which compilation show was busiest. My worst day was when it started raining 20mins before the start of the earlier show “The Full Irish” They were rammed and we had twelve in :-(

Audience / Bucket
Smallest audience = 12, biggest audience = 70,
Ave. audience = 38.5
Avg bucket was £1.70 p/p,
My most significant conclusion is the busier the show, the greater the spend per head. Also the busier the show the better the acts perform. The top five shows spend/audience = £2.29
I also appealed for foreign coins which were donated to Rowan Alba - a local homeless charity.
My measure of success was the ave spend per head and seeing familiar faces i.e. repeat audience. Acts told me that my show did increase their show’s attendance proving that the showcase format works.

The Show Itself
What a blast :-) My compere skills have gone up several notches (many to go)
My measure of success was the ave spend per head and seeing familiar faces i.e. repeat audience. Acts told me that my show did increase their show’s attendance proving that the showcase format works.
What worked best (I’m biased) was that the show was light and fluffy i.e. no dark or brutal material. I set the tone for this and the acts followed suit. Those that didn't, found themselves punished by the audience as I was in the bucket for booking them!
The hardest part was being let down by acts. Next time I would definitely over book 5mins acts to expand if necessary. There was no bias in who no-showed, pro versus amateur,. male female etc. Shit happens and it was my job to cope. Many thanks to Nigel Lovell who sat me down at the Fringe meeting in Baker St. and told me exactly how it would be. The best beer I’ve ever bought!

Communications
Gary my VC was always around first thing and very approachable if there were any problems but there weren't any. Pleasantly surprised by the team spirit amongst shows that were effectively competing, and I take that as the Fringe Spirit. A special thanks to Chris of the Full Irish who was a great help and support.

And Finally
Roll on next year I’m soooooo up for it!
Alastair Sadler
Alastair Sadler
 
Posts: 3
Joined: September 2013

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