Best of New Irish - Voodoo Bar

Performer reviews of their venues/shows/experience in 2008

Best of New Irish - Voodoo Bar

Postby damon.blake » 18 Nov 2008, 09:47

i had an issue with posting that PBH has kindly fixed, please find below my report:

Show: Best of New Irish Comedy - Free!
Venue: Voodoo Bar.

Venue - Overall.
the Voodoo Bar was run by Alex who was very affable, unfortunately
this being affable meant that there was all a bit too easy going, on
the first day i took his mobile number and the bar number but couldn't
get through when i needed to. on the first day when we showed up we
were told that the bar wasn't opening for two hours after we had
showed up and on the last day it didn't open up at all, i sent people
there a couple of times but it was closed and the next day we checked,
still not open and we had to fly out. i commuicated this to joe and
alfie, i texted when i got back to ireland to ask how it went but
didn't hear anything.

the problems with the venue was that it was very far off the beaten
track, so we got good numbers each day but they found out about the
show through the programmes, we flyered our own flyers and the free
fringe programme for hours each day but i'd say after the thousands
and thousands of flyers we probably got ten people in off them.

inter-show communication was a problem. if we had set a weekly team
meeting for one hour at the venue it would've helped, i see from
alfie's report that he had stuff go missing or damaged...the only
things we used during our run were the mic stand and mic and half the
times we'd show up to the venue and the sound system wasn't working so
we'd have to work without these. the people in the venue had no idea
why this was happening, something to do with someone at the end of
their show swapping channels (...clearly i don't know anything about
the technology) which meant no sound came out. later, we would go to
clean up at the end of the night and take at the very least thirty
glasses that were lying around (our own and the accumulation of the
day) up to the bar, then continue tidying. every night we were told
the staff were going to finish the clean up (ie vacuuming), i've only
heard this week that this wasn't done and there seems to be resentment
that we were leaving a mess. again, one msg saying it wasn't happening
and i would've made sure everything was cleaned up.

we were doing two hour shows every night and twice due to poor numbers
and a general bad ambience from the crowd we cut that down to about an
hour and a half. i'd say out of the 21 shows we did, two went badly
(one of them when we were filled to capacity but for whatever reason
no-one did well), 15 went great and the remainder were good. often had
people coming up to us in the mile, chatting and thanking us for the
show, about five people who came back three or more times during the
run to watch the show again. had to kick out that guy who we were told
was going venue to venue filming shows three times, one time he was
asleep when we got to the venue so we let him sleep through our show,
woke him when it was time to leave.

Venue - Staff.

Very nice Staff, enjoyed talking to them, except one time when one of
the staff got drunk and pushed his way onto the stage to say jokes. We
had problems with his "regulars" getting drunk and trying to ruin a
show so we had to ask them to leave, they made complaints so there
were times Alex watched the show to confirm or deny what they were
complaining about. We never had any follow on complaints. One person
who performed with us did make comments i found unacceptable and they
weren't asked back.

Venue - Result
i think as a venue it was seen to be too far from the main shows to
convince people to go, although a lot of people independantly decided
to see the show because it was free and went for enough time to
justify checking it out. a majority of our crowd were locals who
seemed to enjoy the range of comedians, if you didn't like one act the
next person was different enough that they probably would. i didn't
personally as a comedian get a lot of positive experience from the
shows (although it did highlight areas i need to improve in) but did
learn from having to manage the personalities and organise the flyers,
accomodation as a show.

[b]oh, i'd like to highlight this point for other people that Brendan made: [/b][quote]LESSON 3. Send out a press pack to the newspapers before you go up to Edinburgh, especially if you're not in the main programme, or nobody will come to review your show. [/quote]

again, thank you for the opportunity and the effort you put in to
organising it, i don't believe i will be organising a show for 2009
due to personal commitments but i hope it goes as well or better for
you next year.


Damon Blake

p.s. just like to add to say thanks to joe and mikey from the show proceeding ours, class gentlemen whose attire and demeanour made us look like unkempt vagabonds. also to brendan, dee custance and robbie bonham for giggging with us, i'll sort you all out eventually with pies and drugs.

p.p.s. have to say out of everything i saw in edinburgh (including free and paying gigs) my favourite three things were 1. the 30 year itch 2. ladma vs the world 3. bob slayer/jesse morgan, only time i've gone back to watch someone twice.
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