February 2, 2010

fringe fest, what is on in it?

steve dean          posted 29 Jan 2010, 05:30 AM / edited 29 Jan 2010, 10:20 AM

There is still no online programme for the fringe festival! Though they had a media launch yesterday. i thought this year they were going to be web based! How do they expect us to book for anything when there is no information available?

John Smythe      posted 29 Jan 2010, 09:41 AM / edited 1 Feb 2010, 10:40 AM

Yes, there is show info there: http://www.fringe.org.nz/ – but no centralised booking system. Each show has its own booking details (also there in the printed programme).

I have been trying to work out how the ‘My Favourites’ and ‘Calendar’ features are supposed to work. The trouble is you have to click on each show to get the time and duration (RH column: scroll down), so it gets pretty complicated if you’re trying to work out a schedule for yourself.

Maybe if someone works out the optimal way of getting organised and booking, they could share via this forum.

Meanwhile, what about the launch at Mighty Mighty, eh? Most memorable for Zelda ‘Memphis’ (as in Meltdown) Edwards’ attempts to get everyone to shut up and listen.

Tip #1: It’s never going to happen at a Fringe Launch, especially in a long room with a public bar in the back half.

Tip #2: Shouting into the mic only makes the people at the back talk louder.

Such events are catch-up time for old friends and promo time for hustlers. Is this the right time and place to run speeches from sponsors, board members, councillors and government representatives, most of whom run the usual lines about our wonderful creativity, as if we don’t already know? Is this the best way to honour their truly fantastic contributions – to put them in a situation that makes them feel at best ignored, at worst abused?

If such speeches are the top priority, then launch the Fringe in a theatre with drinks in the foyer afterwards. Likewise the entertainment: Raybon Kan did an excellent job as MC with brilliant gags – it’s great to have him back – and in his professionalism he proved equal to the most difficult audience he is likely to encounter. But having a Tango dancing demonstration at a long narrow venue where most of the standing audience could only see the tops of their heads and those sitting could see nothing … why? Apparently one woman’s false breast fell out, she kept trying to kick it aside and it was the funniest gag of the night – but only six people saw it!

Serious consideration needs to be given to who the Fringe Launch is for, what is its purpose and what are the desirable outcomes. The current format has never worked and never will.

steve dean          posted 30 Jan 2010, 07:07 AM

Good its there, now. As you say, it needs a page with a calendar displaying all events. Hopefully the printed version has one

John Smythe      posted 30 Jan 2010, 10:29 AM

The Fringe 2010 print brochure – an A4 fold-out to A2 size – says: “Ticketing information for each individual show is listed with the schedule over-page. There is no central ticketing agency for the Fringe Festival because Fringe shows coordinate their own ticketing individually. For further information go to www.fringe.co.nz.”

The printed ‘schedule’ lists the programme alphabetically in genre groups – Comedy | Dance | Music | Theatre | Visual Art | What The Fringe? – with title, description, venue, dates, starting time & where to book 

When you click a date on the website Calendar, you get the image, description, dates & venue for each show, again in alphabetical order. To discover the prices, duration and where to book you need to click ‘more’ for each individual show.

For each show you like you click ‘Add to my favourites’. When you click ‘View my favourites’ the Titles and dates they play list in chronological order according to the date you chose, but you still have to click each title to get all the other info. Printing the page offers lots of white space to scribble on …

It is quite a mission, then, to work out a personal schedule. There is no calendar chart (see the International Festival brochure’s centre page, or a Bats’ Guano). I realise listing 80-odd entries in this way is quite a challenge but from a punter perspective this is what’s needed. Presumably the Fringe would like punters to knock off a couple of shows a night then hit the Chit Chat Lounge at the Fringe Bar? 

Ewen Coleman posted 2 Feb 2010, 05:48 PM

For once I whole hearlty agree with John regarding his comments on the Fringe Festival – working out a schedule of events is a real mission and takes some considerable time and effort negotiating their web site.  Perhaps for next year some serious consideration can be given to this with some input from creative web masters.  The Launch also needs serious attention as John suggests.

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