Of all the things I was involved in Improvision’s TheatreSports did the best from an audience point of view. We had two completely sold out shows and a few more that were almost totally sold out. Our venue, the Drill Hall, was big, seating about 250 I’d say. We have taken TheatreSports to the festival before and it does have a bit of a good reputation, which certainly helps. An audience feels safe in our hands, it’s family entertainment and it’s reliable, good value for money, feel good, creative fun. Our very late night show struggled for numbers and the last few early morning shows didn’t do brilliantly. I’m convinced it’s because everyone had already gone home.
Shez Sharon struggled to pull an audience, despite good reviews and audience members who diligently spread the word. I know it’ll do better next year, when people have heard about it. How weird is that?
Songs of Hangings and Redemption was my biggest disappointment in terms of attendance. It had had two successful runs in Cape Town, word was out about how good it was and Graham Weir certainly has a big following. All our shows were at 10pm, and I think that killed us. I chose the time thinking that a music show would do well that late at night, especially at a festival. Wrong! It’s just too late and cold for festinos. So, only the die-hards attended.
We weren’t the only ones battling for numbers. It seemed that the shows that did really well were the ones that had been at the festival before. Lesson learned.
PS. I meant to add, and forgot, and have just remembered. We all need to make sure we don’t get sucked into the bullshit hype propaganda ofÂ ‘the best attendance at the festival ever’ that the organisers recite every year. I know for sure that numbers were down from when I was last at the festival. Parking was not a problem, many popular shows were not sold out, food was easily accessible and attendees stayed for shorter. The festival virtually ended on Thursday the 5th (and not Saturday 7th). By Saturday G’town was more Ghost than Grahams.