Postby Will Kemp » 04 Oct 2010, 20:52

This was our first year doing a Free Fringe show and it was definitely a positive experience. The staff at Base were remarkably relaxed, helping out however they could and generally treating performers like people, a pleasant change from most Fringe venues. The venue was a good size and never felt particularly empty (the staff only put out as many seats as people showed up, which really really helped on a few occasions) but with such a high ceiling and nightclub-lighting it tended to be a hard to build up atmosphere.

Speaking of the lighting, the stage is lit by blue L.E.D. lights which can only be turned on and off, not dimmed. This wasn't a major issue for us but could be for some people. What was an issue was the unreliable blackout button on the lighting desk, which would often flash the lights on and off rather than simply turning them on, which looks a bit unprofessional and can't really be avoided.

Storage space was good if unsecure (someone's laptop got stolen I believe).

The take on the bucket was good, we broke even over all but it's worth considering that we're based in Edinburgh anyway and didn't have to deal with transport and accommodation costs. We found that having a cast member (we're a sketch group) hold the bucket rather than a crew member tended to seriously increase the amount people gave.

All those lovely things taken into account, the biggest selling point for Base has to be the drinks prices. You tell someone you're flyering that they can see some free comedy and they might be interested. Tell them they can get a beer for £1.95 at the same time, during the Fringe, and you'll fill the place in no time flat. That said, some folk will just stay for the beer and move on but that's just something you have to deal with when you do a free show; without the feeling that they've invested their money in enjoying the show audience members are a lot more likely to just wander off if you don't get big laughs in the first few minutes.

As I said at the top, the whole experience was very positive. I think Base is a venue well suited to stand-up and is run by a really decent bunch of people, and I hope they'll be doing Free Fringe again next year.
Out the Window - Freefall (Fringe 2010)
Will Kemp
Posts: 2
Joined: June 2010

Re: Freefall

Postby BASE » 12 Oct 2010, 20:50

Hello Will

I'm glad your enjoyed using base as a venue we will be returning next year.
Posts: 3
Joined: October 2010

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