Alastair Clark: Herding Cats // Room 2 // 21.15 (Full Run)

Alastair Clark: Herding Cats // Room 2 // 21.15 (Full Run)

Postby AlastairClark » 11 Jan 2018, 11:49

Bar Bados is a complex of rooms above a pop up bar on Cowgate, directly opposite the Underbelly. With it being a busy bar (particularly at weekends) it can be difficult for audiences to find shows as the route through the bar to the shows was not particularly well sign posted, something the venue were not too keen on improving because they didn't want to ruin the aesthetic of the bar.

There were also issues up stairs with rooms not being labelled ideally and start times were not staggered, meaning people may have found it difficult to find the show they actually wanted to see. This could have been completely avoided if in true free fringe spirit fellow shows had been honest and directed people to the correct rooms. There were unfortunately a few occasions I am aware of when people did poach audience members. To be honest these problems were probably entirely caused by rooms being lost late on due to unexpected building work, so shouldn't be a problem next year. However, the point still stands cooperation between shows is absolutely necessary. The Free Fringe doesn't have dedicated staff hosting, so you should pitch in and do your bit and be honest about what show is happening in what room.

In terms of set up there were enormous issues, the venue had not been touched since a new year's rave so there was an awful lot of clean-up to do. Special mention to Planet Caramel who put an absolute shift in with Room 2 (we started get in on Wednesday). Also David Tnosos is Room 1. Corrin in Room 3 and there were others, whose names escape me.

I was in Room 2. A shallow but wide room, we were able to fit about 80 chairs in, but this was reduced to 60 with fire regs. It did mean there was standing room and window ledges to sit in, so has a max capacity of 100. There are two pillars in the centre of the room, which did create problems with sight lines, and with the room being so wide there are people who will be almost viewing the stage in profile. So if your show is prop heavy try to prepare for this as best you can.

Great, personally got on with all the bar staff and management. The door staff were nice guys, but did have a really tough job for the month, so could come across as short. I didn't have any problems with them. But the venue did have a policy of making sure all bags were searched and liquids were confiscated before entry to the bar. Which did put off audiences.

Free Fringe programme, Big Fat Fringe Programme, flyering before the show, exit flyering a show I was teching, exit-flyering open-spots I did, exit-flyering friends' shows, exit flyering similar shows.

Usually had 25-50, filled the room weekends and on some other occasions.

Good, but up and down. Usually around £80. I managed to get a high average donation by an unapologetic gag intense bucket speech and selling DVDs.

Free Fringe provided PA, mics and back drop, all more than capable of the job at hand. We provided lighting.

I was VC for Room 2 and hope that everyone found me approachable and available. I ended up being major domo for the whole venue due to the original person in the role being unable to get to Edinburgh due to emergency circumstances. I had a trouble receiving communication from some people. Talk to your VCs guys!! They're human beings trying their best, if you don't talk to them before the fringe, or turn up for get in you're making their lives a lot harder.

The venue is a lot of hard work. The fact is, the venue is a blank canvas and all rooms did look really nice. It's in the centre of town on a busy thoroughfare, but don't expect helping hands from the venue or staff. If you're happy with that prepare to put in some graft before during and after the festival.
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