Dave Leicester Comedy Festival 2016 Costs

For ease of typing, the initials DLCF stands for Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.

Aims

  • To build a little bit of a following in the city of Leicester.
  • To get more people on my social following / newsletter.
  • To earn back at least £226 of my money.

Prep

  • I wrote a show. It was the same show I did in Edinburgh last year.
  • I interviewed Geoff Rowe (Founder of DLCF)
  • I got offered a spot at “Festivals Finest” (like the Chortle’s Fast Fringe for Edinburgh but for DLCF). At which I did material not in my current show so they could see my style but wouldn’t worry about seeing the same jokes in the actual show I was putting on.
  • I contacted a follower on Twitter who lives in the area and he offered me a place to stay for free.

Things I learned

  • Usually I would have created EventBrite links to extend the reach of the event but also allow people to reserve a seat at the gig. This gives me a good idea of how many people are/aren’t coming but also it gives me their email address so I can thank them for coming / remind them to come a day or two before. DLCF has a system which allows people to “book” a ticket for free shows. This is clearly a great and useful thing – they even send you regular “sales” reports so you know how many people are interested in coming. I wish more festivals supplied this for the Free Shows.
  • Get an early show (and by “early” I mean the first show of the night) – people have more change on them. The downside to this is they’re not warmed up and are direct from work.
  • If you can… stay with someone local. It saves you money. I stayed with a friend / follow off Twitter who my friends knew. It was bloody lovely and helped me get more into the festival vibe.
  • The people of Leicester don’t seem to like being flyered. They’d prefer to be spoken to like a person and have the show explained.
  • Posters seem to help other people’s shows, but I had none. 
  • DLCF use a ticketing service which means that you can send people to reserve a ticket, but they only reserve 1/3 of the capacity of the room (on the Free Fringe). They hold all the data of the people who reserve a ticket. You get an email every couple of days in the run up to the festival to tell you how your tickets are selling. You’re not allowed the email addresses due to data protection.
  • Be nice to the staff at the venue. I learned all their names and got them chocolates at the end of the Fringe to say thanks. This is not just because it’s a decent thing to do but they’re the best asset you’ll have at your venue AND they’re locals. So might come to see your show and tell friends (a few did for me). 
  • Most of the audience were “walk ups” on the night. I firmly believe by going around the bar and talking to people who were on the fence in a polite way helped. Also having my “one minute pitch” ready helped sell it to them (here’s my video of how I came up with my pitch).

Show details -

Venue: The Exchange
Date(s): Thursday 11th February – Friday 12th February 2016
Timeslot: 50 mins
Time: 7pm

Show costs – 

What is it? How much did it cost? Additional Info
Show registration £136.00 Registration with the free festival.  
Marketing Material £60  Flyers etc
Travel (car) £20  Petrol etc.
Misc £10 Chocolate for the venue, free fringe staff and Ash (the man who let me stay in his house).
Total £226 (£113 per show)

Audience sizes & bucket takings

 Friday 11th Feb 2016  35-40 £55.46 £57.54 loss
 Saturday 12th Feb 2016  60-70 £82.68 £30.32 loss
 Total –    £138.14  £87.86

Results

  • I gained 15 emails for the newsletter and 8 on my Twitter.
  • £87.86 loss.
  • I think I have somewhere to stay each time I go back to the festival. 
  • Made better friends with local Followers / Fans by meeting up with them and having a drink or three.
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