Day Four: Witnessing the Significance of the Adelaide Fringe Festival

Day four was a day full of theatre events at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.  Unexpectedly, it became a day that demonstrated the significance of honouring festivals like the Adelaide Fringe – because it’s about celebrating open access for both artists and audiences.   

Being an open access festival, Adelaide Fringe does not act as a curator but instead allows any artist or group with a creative idea to participate in being apart of the 31-day arts celebration.  The creative team behind WE ARE ANONYMOUS certainly demonstrates this is a open accessibility for artists.  WE ARE ANONYMOUS is presented by Ink Spot, a South Australian youth theatre company, who showcase their understanding of the world around them.  This show sheds light on recent events surrounding the international phenomenon that was ‘anonymous,’ a group of mover and shakers wanting to change and challenge political norms around the world.  Directed by Joanne Hartstone, WE ARE ANONYMOUS is told through a large ensemble of young performers who work together to reveal the consequences of cyber trafficking.

I was thrilled to see this show because so many of the young performers have budding careers ahead of them.  They all embodied confidence, focus and passion for the story they were sharing with the audience.  Somewhere amongst the group must be the next Geoffrey Rush or Cate Blanchett! 

Another important element the Adelaide Fringe Festival celebrates is the ability for artists to develop new works and or new skills.  MIRROR is a great example.  Performer, Robbie Greenwell presents a series of characters and vignettes that showcase his talent as a character performer.  Charming moments and unique surprises sprinkle throughout the performance.  Most importantly,  at the end of the performance, Greenwell humbly asks the audience to leave feedback from their experience.  It becomes apparent that this performer remains within the creative development process and invites his audience in on the journey.

I am looking forward to seeing a future performance of MIRROR to witness the development.  For those curios about an artist’s creative process, I highly recommend checking out MIRROR. 

BLINK brings artists together in a mentorship capacity, another important element Adelaide Fringe celebrates about the artistic journey.  Established performer and producer, Joanne Hartstone works together with several emerging artists to bring British playwright, Phil Porter’s charming love story BLINK to Australian audiences.

In many ways, this production comes together to demonstrate real innovative creativity.  Performers Lucy Brewer and Gianluca I. Noble demonstrate superb character development; the set design cleverly provides layers to the staging and to the multiple environments within the scenes; music weaves in and out of the story to emphasise romantic comedy elements throughout.

BLINK is a heart warming, charming and delightful piece of theatre that showcases the hard work of emerging talent and a partnership between established and emerging artists at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Lastly, connecting audiences to artists in creative and interactive ways is what makes Adelaide Fringe Festival a successful celebration to the community. NUCLEAR FAMILY is a piece of theatre that does just this.  Audiences are invited to choose important outcomes that dictate how NUCLEAR FAMILY unfolds.  As audiences are put together into three groups, they are presented with two or more choices to select from that will decide the fate of the story.  Within these decisions the groups must explain why they have made these decisions, and then witness the revealing consequences.

NUCLEAR FAMILY is a fun, engaging and interesting theatrical event that allows the audience become part of the storytelling.

For more information about each of these performances, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Adelaide Fringe Festival website.

 

 

Three Tips to Focus the Art of Marketing a Festival Event

Many Australian independent artists are in the midst of festival season: Perth is half-way through its Fringe World festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival begins approximately in three weeks, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival commences in about two months.  What an exciting time!

I hope that by now many festival participants have begun cultivating ideas regarding marketing their event.  There are many ways to promote and inform audiences of your event, but where to begin?

Before embarking on your festival experience; even before diving into boosting social media posts, hiring a publicist or sending out emails to friend, family or subscribers; I’d like to offer three often overlooked marketing tips independent artists can use to focus a clear and simple marketing strategy for any festival event.

Read festival annual reports – Every year, festivals survey their audience members in order to collect data that will be used for an annual report.  This report highlights the turnout of the general festival experience, often including overall attendance numbers, a breakdown into audience demographics (age, profession, residency, etc.) and artist participation factors (number of participants, number of events, ticket sales revenue, etc.).  The kind of information that will be most helpful to an independent artist is the audience demographic breakdown.  Take note of the following information:

  1. The number of tickets sold throughout the festival
  2. The number of patrons who attended
  3. Residential information of patrons (locals VS regional, international or inter-state visitors)
  4. Occupation of patrons
  5. Number of artist participants and number of events

By breaking down these festival factors, an artist is able to identify how their event will cater to festival patrons.  Additionally, this kind of information will help an artist focus their efforts in executing a clear and thorough marketing strategy.

Research the venue’s audience breakdown – An artist has been assigned a venue ever since their festival application was approved.  More than likely, the venue is a space that has a regular attendance of patrons.  Familiarise yourself with the venue and its patrons.  Browse the venue website to inform yourself of previous and upcoming events.  Find out if the venue is active on social media.  If so, follow them closely to discover who they communicate with (their regulars) and how they communicate to the general public.  Additionally, initiate communication by sending an email to the venue management team: ask them questions about the space, their events and their regulars.  If they are active on social media, ask if they would be willing to share your Facebook event with their followers.  If you can, visit the venue on occasion to observe the crowd.  Your visit can also be a great opportunity to spark conversation with patrons and staff.

Focus on building a reputation – It is known that the first impression is the best impression to offer.  Build a strong reputation for yourself by creating an experience your audience will remember for a long time.  Think about ways you can make your audience feel welcomed to the space, appreciated and acknowledged for taking the time to see your work.  The emphasis should be on ways to encourage your audience to come back for more.  If you’ve created a caring, quality experience, most likely your audience will encourage others to attend your show too – word of mouth marketing sells more tickets than any other strategy!

These overlooked marketing tips can inspire, ignite and focus your festival event marketing campaign.  Most importantly these tips encourage creativity and fun, which in turn will make marketing and self-promotion feel a lot freer and easy.

Looking for assistance to devise a marketing strategy for your arts event?  Click HERE to book a FREE 30-minute consultation, and mention this article to receive 20% off any BCauseARTS marketing & audience development service.  Feel FREE, have FUN and get FOCUSED about marketing your arts practice today!