Room 5 - 2.45 pm - Tom Little

Room 5 - 2.45 pm - Tom Little

Postby Tom Little » 04 Sep 2017, 00:37

I was the venue captain for Black Market, Room 5 and was really pleased with how it all turned out. Black Market as a whole seemed to do really well. It's in a good location, not far the Royal Mile and with plenty of foot traffic, so there were plenty of people walking past. As predicted, the eight rooms made it a bit of a hub: audiences came because they knew they'd find a show here, and once they'd seen one they could stick around and see another without having to leave the building. I also think it looked like a pretty cool venue, once we'd got it set up. The bar was nice and always busy, we had people paint graffiti on the walls (with the venue's permission) and once we'd put posters up it really looked like a 'performance space' where all kinds of stuff would be happening, instead of just an unused office building.

Room 5 had 32 seats, was usually easy to fill and I was pleased with the numbers I got. The quietest day was 12, one day was 13, a few were 20-25, but most days were full and over the run I had to turn loads of people away. I flyered with another person for an hour each day, paid to be in the 'official' fringe app, and did a lot of guest spots to plug my show, which will have helped get an audience, as did being in the Wee Blue Book obviously, but I really feel like the venue itself was a big factor in the size of the audiences I was able to get, as all the acts I spoke to in room 5 seemed to be doing well, throughout the run. I'd certainly be happy to have the same room and time again next year.

The room could get a bit warm but so can just about every Fringe venue and it wasn't that bad with the windows open. With the windows open there'd be a bit of noise occasionally from the odd train or siren, but it was never too disruptive, and I felt it was better to have the noise with the windows open than the heat with the windows closed. It maybe would have been better to rent a fan for the room as well though, so that'd be something I'd think about for next year.

On set-up day, to make the room look more like a performance space, we put cardboard over the windows and rented a stage light. It was £85, but with every show paying their share, only worked out at £5 each. With my show being at 2.45 pm, and with me having the windows wide open, the room was full of natural light anyway, so I didn't actually need the light to illuminate the stage at all, but I really feel that just having the stage light there in the room made us look that bit more 'professional' to the audiences, which will have led to better shows and better buckets, so it was definitely money well spent.

So yes, in conclusion I was really happy with Black Market as whole and room 5 specifically. Thanks to everyone who helped set it up and take it down, and thanks to the owners for letting us use it in the first place. I'd be really happy to be here again next year.
Tom Little
 
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Joined: September 2016

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