Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guest Review: Edinburgh Fringe

Guest Review: Edinburgh Fringe Festival
By Guest Reviewer: Patrick Ferri

Guest Festival Ranking: 5 out of 5 bow ties

Mr. Fringy's Description: This is the Mack Daddy, baby! Are your eyes are bigger than your appetite?

(Fringe 2008 features 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues)
The Sunny-side: (Give 3 reasons this fringe is the bomb)

a. It’s the first (the template for all others).

b. It’s the biggest (the program is as big as my phone book; no joke).

c. It’s the best (Edinburgh at fringe time is too stupefying to put into words).

The Flip Side: (Give 3 reasons this fringe sucks or what makes it difficult)

a. You will not get audiences.

b. You will go into amazing debt.

c. You will see great shows and question why you came.

Your Money Sock: How big of a money sock do you need here, based on food prices, and other expenses? (Choose one: A tiny sock, a men's tube sock, a full blown stocking) How much money did you spend on this one when all was said and done?

It is a union suit. I went for one week instead of the full 3 and I am just getting out of debt now.

How to Fill Your Seats: What's the best way to fill your seats here marketing-wise?

Take ads out on the side of buses. I had no houses so I cannot answer that question. When I complained to another Edinburgh Fringe veteran about getting 10 people in the theater, he responded "Wow, you did really good !!"

There is a book I wish I bought beforehand instead of at Edinburgh Airport on my return: "Fringe," by James Aylett and James Lark. They can tell you much more.

Fringe Specs:
Age in Fringe Years: A spritely 61 years old and getting younger every day. If there is a reason that aging is good for your health. This is it!
Festival Dates: August 3-25
Application Deadline: April 16, 2009 Applying: www.edfringe.com
Festival Cost: (Don't faint!) $23 subscription fee and then $607 with your application. $870 for a small add (recommended but not required) + a venue rental fee (roughly $150 per 100 seats) then plan to pay 6% commission on all ticket sales through the box office.

Is there a fringe central? There is. They will answer all kinds of questions and give you plenty of help. However, they do not really take care of anything for you like American and Canadian Fringes.

Ticket Prices:
Do you get 100% of door? If not, how much?
You have to pay many fees out of each ticket. I do not remember them all but you are going to a socialist country. You will loose.

What's the ticket range price? Ticket prices range from $10.00 - 20.00. (10 or 12 GBP max).

Do performers see other shows for free? Everyone has to pay to see anything unless they are comped.

Do you get paid each night? If not how? Were you paid on time if the money was sent to you?
My venue paid me at the end of my run.

Showcase: Is there a showcase for out of town performers? No; but there are 3 preview days before the Fringe proper starts.

Venue Location:
Can you walk to all the venues? If not how did you get around? It is a compact city and I walked everywhere in the city. There are venues outside the city that would require a bus.

Travel-in: What city do you fly into and how did you get to you destination? Continental airlines added direct service to Edinburgh recently from Newark.

Billeting: Did you use fringe fest lodging? If so, how was the lodging? If not, who did you stay with? I stayed at B&B's. If you are there for the month, get an apartment. The Fringe office will help. There is also an American online forum where you can share info with other people who are going.

About Mr. Fringy's Guest Reviewer: Patrick Ferri (Defining True Physical Comedy)

Check him out at: www.wreckageorama.com

What categories does your show fall under? Comedy and clown.

How long have you been fringing? 10 years.

How many fringes do you do each year? 1

What has been your favorite fringe? Edinburgh.

What has been your biggest money making fringe? Piccolo Spoleto

What fringe did you make your most important contact? I'm not sure I have.

In one word, why do you fringe? Build!

What's the name of the show (s) you are fringing this year? My show name remains "Wreckage-O-Rama".

Do you use your own tech person at your shows? If so, how much do you pay them? Only if I have hired the venue. The pay depends on the time invested; probably around $20/hr.

Any fringes to avoid? They are all experience.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Invaluable information, Patrick. Thanks for posting.