Gareth Cooper - Nerd Rock 4.35pm

Gareth Cooper - Nerd Rock 4.35pm

Postby garethcooper1982 » 20 Sep 2017, 11:45

I had a lovely experience at Ciao Roma - supportive, hard-working other acts and friendly staff at the venue. I was doing a slightly shorter run than most, so when I arrived everything was already set up and ready to go. Many thanks to the other acts that helped do this before I arrived!

Venue: basement bar so it gets very hot (to be expected of any fringe venue!) but opening the doors between shows was usually enough to cool it down a bit. Noise from the kitchen behind was infrequent - I'd say it would never be a problem unless you were doing a show very reliant on lengthy silences. Surprisingly good PA and sound system (I was using a lot of full volume backing tracks and they sounded great) - I'm not sure if the venue provided the PA or not, however. You could cram about 60 people in (useful at weekends) but the room felt full enough with 20+. Only a couple of shows with v low numbers - it may be something to do with the location of the venue. It's on the high street (south bridge) so isn't a hub where people generally hang around, nor is it a bar. As a restaurant, you get no (or very little) traffic from people just popping in to see what's on. This isn't necessarily bad (as everyone seeing your show is there TO SEE YOUR SHOW) but means that you're unlikely to get in that last-minute 5-10 people you can drag from the bar/off the street. If you can get a few flyerers, I'd advise it - or if there are 3-4 of you in your show. Also, there isn't really anywhere for your audience to wait - the first 15 people can queue up along the stairs - the rest just have to wait outside on a very busy high street. I saw a few people leave because of this. Nothing can really be done about that (they can't all just stand in the restaurant!) but worth noting as it put a few people off. As Nick said in his report, there isn't a raised performance space - so don't do anything (or much) sat down!
There's space at the back to store flyers and some props - I took my guitar home with me every day, as this space isn't lockable. Don't leave anything valuable, basically. There's no access to flyers/props during shows, however - would be worth making sure all acts know this for next year so that people don't disrupt other shows to get to their stuff. I tended to come in during the set-up of the previous show to pick up flyers.

All in all, a lovely venue - good size, nice staff (20% off at the restaurant) and generally good crowds.
Thanks to Mark for being a great VC and everyone for just being lovely and helpful.
garethcooper1982
 
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Joined: September 2017

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