In October I attended my second Undercover Artist Festival in Brisbane. I performed two shows; both were somewhat different. I enjoyed performing on both nights. I performed in the foyer and found the audience to be very respectful.
I found my time taken up with changes to my shows; particularly on the second day as I decided to make some changes to the set on the day. I was happy to do this as it is important to me to deliver an error-free set. I also included some Australian and political jokes along with some new stuff. I included some of my original stuff too and they went down very well. I did manage to see some performances, I particularly enjoyed the musicians.
I have done three Australian festivals and you learn something for each one.
In Melbourne I learned that you can't trust festivals to do promotion for you and so you need to promote yourself.
The Brisbane festivals already had a good crowd but maybe I can better serve the festival by doing additional promotion. The lesson I learned from the latest Brisbane festival is that you should maybe budget in your own promotion expenses to aid the festival with ticket sales, not just travel expenses. If you want recurring gigs this is a good way to help secure them.
I did join Brisbane comedy Facebook groups but I was only approved by one and only on the night before the first gig. There was a five-day delay in approval so you should join such groups a few months prior. I'll follow this up for a festival preparation post next month.
There is a festival in planning for people with disabilities in Hamilton next year. I say the most important thing you can do is let the artists know of ticket sales in advance, maybe also live. I could supply software for that.
This was a problem in Melbourne. I had no idea of the ticket sales and had I known, I would have done more promotion myself. Also you should request any promotional material weeks in advance: some artists get busy in the final days and sometimes a sudden request gets lost.
A single venue was convenient for the shows but of course, this is not the norm. But due to accessibility it may be better for people with disabilities. This way you can modify it with accessibility requirements.
The Undercover Artist Festival aims to break the boundaries and bend the rules, showcasing the best of provocative art at Queensland Theatre over 13 and 14 October. Thanks to Access Arts for putting on another fantastic festival in Brisbane. There should be more events like this!
Thane Pullan is an Arts Access Advocate, and an accessibility software developer, author and stand-up comedian. He is working on a range of accessibility and arts software. You can buy his book, The Teachings of a Grumpy Cripple, online.
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