I WOULDN’T be the first person to do a chat show on the Fringe. There are a whole load of them varying from best-of-the-fest type round-ups to practical discussions at Fringe Central. My idea, which for the moment I will continue to call The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide – Live, is closest to those organised by the Fringe Office. There is certainly a market for these – I know, I’ve seen the full auditorium from the stage – but how big is that market?
I’m going to have to talk to the Fringe Office – probably Barry Church-Woods, the venues and companies manager, who chairs many of these events – and ask why they programme relatively few discussions. Is it because they’ve got too much else to be getting on with or is it because they don’t think people would come.
My hunch is the audience is out there. I’ve heard the questions from the audience at Fringe Central and I know The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide – Live would deal with them. I’ve seen the companies sitting in the bar at C Venues, handing out flyers on the Royal Mile, hanging out in the sunshine at the Pleasance Courtyard, and they strike me as a readily identifiable market that would a) enjoy reading the book and b) enjoy coming to a show.
This will be a great help when I come to put into practice The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide‘s advice on marketing.
If the people do come, what, if anything, will they be prepared to pay? Events at Fringe Central are free. On the other hand, a two-hour session on “how to make it in Hollywood” had a full price of £30 (and was, oddly enough, part of the Laughing Horse “Free” Festival). Scott Capurro’s Position and Marcel Lucont Etc, both comedy chat shows, cost £10. Scott Agnew’s Scottish Breakfast Chat Show was £7 at 1pm. I think people would come to my show if it was free, but would they come for a fiver or a tenner?
And if they were prepared to come in week one, when they are full of energy and optimism, would they also be prepared to come in week three when the festival is nearly all played out?