Getting your Anywhere Festival production underway? You’re in the right place. To make sure you have joined the right groups, get our eNews and to find out who to ask what, HEAD HERE. Looking for the link to pay for the program inclusion, resources and to buy in to Anywhere’s Public Liability? It’s here

News Flashes!

You’re in luck – no absolutely urgent stuff to worry about right now 😉

Latest eNews

Head to the Facebook Group at this link to ask other participants questions and the most recent Participant eNews are here: 12 December

Getting Started

Thank you for joining us and checking out the Pocket Producer. Whether you are new or an older hand, we recommend checking out our suggestions on getting started, and how navigate your way through what may look like an overwhelming number of sections.

So here are our tips for the key things to look at:

  1. First, if you prefer videos instead of text, head to the VIDEOS GALORE section
  2. Head to CORE DATES – CHECKLIST to get a guide on when we suggest you need to do what, along with our deadlines you need to know about.
  3. Scroll down to the grid with sections featuring the core templates.
  4. Drop into each section here for a bit of inspiration or if you need help in a certain area.
  5. Drop in here every week and check out the NEW FLASHES at the top.

That’s about it. Now, let’s get to it!

Why Anywhere?

We want you to be ambitious about your work and the number of people who see it. We want you to think beyond simply presenting in a traditional open access fringe festival with thousands of others hoping a producer will pick you up and make you a success.

We want you to break paradigms, create new genres, become the new Peter Brook, Song of the Goat, Complicite, Wildworks, Punchdrunk, Shunt… You.

Anywhere is a festival devoted to creating the best experience for our audiences and for you. Anyone can apply within the boundaries of performance anywhere but a theatre and we work with you to ensure the festival is the best thing for you.

  1. You can perform in any space that isn’t a traditional theatre space. You can perform in a foyer or a performance space of a different sort retooled (The Touch Industry was performed on the stage of the oldest “Gentlemens Club” in Brisbane in 2015).
  2. You should not pay for a venue. We think it’s a bit rich that performers pay to participate AND THEN pay for the space they use to perform. A cost that often cripples producers before they even factor in all the technical requirement associated. Which means…
  3. We encourage you to think outside the traditional theatre box. If you perform just as you would in a theatre you’re kind of missing the point…
  4. … but if you feel there are certain technical requirements you would have to pay more for in a non traditional space and they are available in something more like a studio space (ie. RAW Studios), this may be an option.
  5. As a festival we’re not interested in how many tickets the “festival” sells but we are interested in how much your shows sell. In 2018 the average audience capacity was 81% compared to the Edinburgh Fringe figure of somewhere between 6-12%.
  6. We want each show to be successful in achieving their own goals. For some that is tickets sales, for others it is to expand your audience base or to present a new work or try new ideas.
  7. We’re smaller than the big fringe festivals (think Melbourne or Edinburgh). This means it is easier for you to stand out in a program that fits on one folded out A1 page and it also means we can spend time with you to find your place in the program.
  8. You get the mailing list of people who purchased tickets for your show and you can use our box office for other shows during the year in non traditional spaces.

What are you going to do?

For some, the idea is clear. For others, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help clarify what it is you want from your festival experience:

Are you doing the show to:

  1. Change the world?
  2. Workshop an idea and give it a public airing prior to developing it further?
  3. Develop your own understanding of yourself and the world around you?
  4. Provide another run for an existing piece?
  5. Redevelop a piece with the intention of touring?
  6. Develop a reputation or to establish the aesthetic of the company?\
  7. Provide a new audience with the opportunity to engage with the piece?
  8. Make money?
  9. Invite professionals in your field to see you and consider hiring you.

…Or perhaps its something else for you? None is more valid than another but it’s worth remembering why you got involved when you’re panicking a day before you go up and things feel overwhelming!

So what’s the winning formula?

Well, it depends on how you answered the questions above, but also:

  1. Set clear reasons for doing the show
  2. Set realistic expectations and budgets
  3. Do the planning ahead
  4. Get as many people involved as early as possible
  5. Have a way to manage the producing and creating roles, either by separating the roles or ensuring you give yourself enough time for both.

Key Dates / Checklist

1 October   Applications Open (APPLY WITH YOUR IDEA NOW – NO UP FRONT COST)

23 October Sunshine Coast Information Session 5.30-7pm (BOOK FREE PLACE)

25 October Brisbane Information Session 6-7.30pm (BOOK FREE PLACE)

31 October Applications Close midday.

15 November Confirmation of successful and unsuccessful applications

30 November Deadline to pay for the Program and Resources.

9 December All day Creative, Producing and Funding workshop for Sunshine Coast, Noosa  and Brisbane producers to be held on the Sunshine Coast.

14 – 31 January Secondary applications accepted for festival program only if slots arise.

21 February Deadline to confirm all your show details for the program and to provide public liability coverage and pay for any festival add ons (double program entry, insurance, additional artist passes)

12 March  Individual shows can start selling tickets if the online listing is signed off

4 – 15 April Commonwealth Games (just an FYI)

10 April Anywhere Theatre Festival site goes live with all shows

20 April Brisbane program launch event

21 April Sunshine Coast program launch event

10 May Anywhere Fest’ starts

27 May Anywhere Fest’ ends

Program and Resources

It is just $250 to be included in the festival program and to get access to the following resources (valued at $5,587) regardless of the number of performances or audience size.

Entry in the printed Anywhere Theatre Festival Guide distributed at key outlets around Brisbane and sent to 10,000 previous ticket purchasers of Anywhere Theatre Festival predominantly across Brisbane and Sunshine Coast (Valued at $2,079)

Online listing at our booking website anywhere.is with links between related shows to extend potential audiences (Valued at $150)

Location kits including tear drop banners. (Valued at $59)

Free subscription to the Pocket Producer resources until the end of the festival including videos, updated templates, tips and hints ($49)

Festival Participants group inclusion with all creatives and producers in the festival.

Two artist passes to get access to artist events including workshopsand discounted tix to shows during the festival (Valued at $150)

Eligibility to be nominated for the Anywhere Awards

Access to Anywhere staff for producing and creative development advice ($350)

Consideration for an Anywhere Photographer to take pictures (Valued at $850)

Consideration for inclusion in social media and traditional media distribution. (Valued at $150)

Assistance and support to help broker a rent free venue for your performance (Value of support and average cost if venue was not rent free $1,750)

Extras (if you want ’em)

We got a lot of feedback last year about a couple of components, so we have split them out so you can decide it you need them or not. They can be purchased up front or later (with the exception of public liability where you must provide your own certificate of currency or select the purchase public liability)

+$125 for a double sized entry in the print program

+$80 for public liability coverage for the company in the lead up and including Anywhere Theatre Festival (Current Certificate must be provided if not paid)

+$25 for additional artist passes

Box Office Costs

All events at Anywhere Theatre Festival are ticketed exclusively through us to ensure the best experiences for audiences and to maximise the chance of every show being discovered.

The inside charge for 2018 Anywhere Theatre Festival shows will be 10% on all tickets sold online, with no outside fee (and no fees on tickets you sell at the door – that is confirmed this year).

Why have inside fees been removed completely for shows Anywhere ticket outside festival times while keeping for shows inside the festival?

During the festival, additional box office support is required, including higher phone support and cross selling setup between shows beyond what would be provided in a vanilla online ticketing system. Given other festivals and venues are taking between $5 – $10 to do the same we feel this amount is a good compromise to ensure we can provide an excellent holistic service to all festival acts and audiences in the lead up and during the festival without increasing the up front costs to be part of the festival.

Build Your Team

It takes a village to raise a child. Same with a show.Even if you are doing a one person show, you should aim to get as many people engaged with your show in some way before the first night. Those people become the basis of your village and your opening night crowd.Who are the key people you need?At Anywhere Theatre Festival we wanted to create a way that makes it possible for you to put performers and creative at the top of the financial food chain instead of the bottom.Anywhere does this because the core of our festival is about performance being able to happen anywhere. Using a space that works for your performance instead of converting any space into a fax simile of a theatre.That’s why we recommend thinking about your team with a focus on the creatives. Do everything you can to prevent yourself from falling into the trap of having all your ticket income eaten up paying all the behind the scenes personnel and equipment.Without you and your creative team this project would not happen, so you should be doing everything you can to ensure you get paid first.

Do you need a producer?

You need to answer the question about exactly what personnel you need and specifically about having a producer for your show. Are you going to be the producer or get someone else?

Finding a producer is also a good way to see whether there is interest in you and your idea. You may already have people you can call on, but don’t skimp on the sell. You need to have a producer who feels as passionately about your idea as you and has the organisational nous to keep you on track.

Given the format of Anywhere, often the producer is also the stage/production manager.

 

Why you should build a team beyond your team

By building up your village  you are building your show up so it is too big to fail, or more positively, guaranteed to succeed.

Write up a list of all the things it would be good to have and then find out who could provide these in kind. Yes, you could do it all yourself, but by getting other people interested enough to provide in kind knowledge, services or products you build up the team and the people invested in making the show happen.

The venue, those around that are putting up your posters, people providing props, tools, those providing a rehearsal space.

Even little things. Especially little things because they are easy for people to provide.

In response they get a free opening night tic and if they want to bring someone else they can buy the additional ticket. Most people have no issues with this. For people providing more, a double pass may be worthwhile. Whatever you decide to do, be clear from the beginning and don’t undersell the value of what you are providing.

Another idea is to take a leaf out of the crowd funding model and get people to invest as a “producer” before rehearsals begin in exchange for an opening night ticket. Don’t price it less though, better to price it slightly higher and make the opening night a special occasion.

Everyone feels they have been part of something, received something special in return and by that point they are already talking about your product giving you that priceless word of mouth..

Is it time consuming? Yes, but if you are spending a lot of time rehearsing a piece it seems silly not to spend time building your village together and you can find more about how to build your village and audience in the Marketing section

There are lots of shows happening at Anywhere, so we recommend you get onto all this early before all the people you want are committed elsewhere and there is so much noise going on that it is harder to cut through.

LOGISTICS

The nuts and bolts of producing at Anywhere are not difficult…

The key is rigorous planning and finding a great team of creatives to work with you, which is what Paul discussed in the previous lesson. Once you’ve got your dream team, discuss these fundamental questions and once they’re sorted, you’re well on your way!

Check out the 2018 Anywhere Festival Program and see what you like, don’t like and the timings and pricing that were chosen.

Question 1: Length & Time of Your Run?

We’re often asked if it’s better to perform one performance or twelve…Thrice daily or bi-weekly. Monday nights or late-nights…We have no solid answers for you as it depends on WHAT your presenting and why you’re presenting your show in the first place.

Perhaps think of it this way: What can your cast endure and how much money do you need to make before you break even?

Its the chicken and the egg dilemma. Do you budget first first or cut a budget to suit the run. A fundamental producer problem!

The longer your run, the more chance you have of building word-of-mouth. That said, a shorter run allows you to pack it out and end on a high…it’s up to you- look at your existing fan base, your marketing plan, who you want to see your work, your venue options and your budget.

Aim high enough to stretch yourself but not so high that you become obsessed with ticket sales.

Building a new audience takes a clear strategy and realistic expectations. Harnessing the power of your fans, allows you to build on your successes. If you’re just new, you don’t have fans- so start thinking about how you’ll make them.

It’s also worth remembering that some costs are fixed no matter how many times you perform, so it’s not true to say that performing for one day will cost a twelfth of performing for twelve days. Especially when there’s no venue hire fee!

Question 2: Performance Length?

Many festivals advise you to produce a 40-minute show that can be taken down in 20 minutes to make one full hour before the next act jumps on stage to do their 40 minute…but it is not uncommon to see performances in Anywhere Festival run as long as 120 minutes.

Don’t compromise the integrity of your show just to fit it into a venue’s preferred time slot. Find a venue that fits your show or keep looking until you find a perfect fit.

Listen to Paul’s lesson Locations for more on this.

Question 3: Timeslot?

Keep in regular contact with us throughout the decision-making process and be sure to let us know what timeslot you have in mind.

As we get closer to the final detail deadline you’ll become aware of any potential clashes (for example, the one night only improv show is on at the same time and date as another one night only show- this is bad timing as Anywhere fans cannot be in two places at once!), they they often try 😉

Think about your audience and when they go out- are they late night? Toddlers? Or will they want dinner before the show?

Question 4: How much to charge at the box office?

One of the main reasons why we started Anywhere Fest’ was to make performance more accessible for non-traditional theatregoers. We wanted to encourage audiences to see something that they wouldn’t normally see or was not part of the theatrical canon.

For that reason we advise you to price your Anywhere Fest’ show at or around $20, with few exceptions.  Call me if you want to discuss this in more detail.

Ask yourself, are concession tickets really necessary? My opinion is no. If you’re keen to offer a cheaper price to students then make your first show a preview and charge less to everyone. That way you get word of mouth out at the start and encourage people to sell out your very first night, which sets you up for a great run.

We’d also advise that you keep your pricing simple.

Tiered pricing at festivals just annoys those who’ll book to see ten shows at a time (and let me tell you, at Anywhere that happens all the time!). But don’t price yourself too cheaply! Going to a Gold Class movie now costs over $20 and one of the points that kept coming up from audiences was that shows are a unique experience and tickets are considered ‘great value’ already.

People, on the whole, will pay for an experience.

Remember to factor in our 10% per ticket fee. So if you want to take a full $20 then set prices at $22.

…And who has the final say?

You do. We can advise but you still rule. You need to make sure that you have a (GREAT) producer. This could be designated as one person in the team or someone outside (if you’re lucky). The producer is the key contact for everything and for all our communication AND DEADLINES with you.

Paul talks about the importance of a great team in other lessons and finding a good producer is vital.

LOOKING FOR THE LINK TO AVAILABLE VENUES? It is right here.

LOOKING FOR THE VENUE AGREEMENT, HOST RESOURCES, ETC? Click here

Locations

Why has theatre traditionally been done in theatres? Because they have seats, a license,
food and drinks, three phase power and change rooms (sometimes).

So what’s the downside (you may well ask!)? Well, for 100 seats you could be looking at $2,000 – $5,000 for venue hire, and that’s before you start factoring in lighting/sound/set and all the technical crew that are required (and who are the first and sometimes only personnel to get paid).

Instead we ask you to think creatively about your show.
How could you expand outside the theatrical box to create an experience both for your audience and for your creative team. Push the boundaries of your imagination and you may just find an exciting new way to present your work that removes major costs and allows you to present something really exciting.

WHAT TO CONSIDER

Here are some of the most important factors for any show to bear in mind during the venue selection process:

CAPACITY

It can be better to have a full, small venue than an empty, large one.

In Edinburgh, the average audience size is 9. Yep, that’s right – 9 people. We think that’s balls. Conversely, you certainly don’t want to be turning customers away night after night for want of room.

The key is to be realistic in matching the number of seats to the number of tickets you expect to sell. Think also about the atmosphere you want to create for your audience: is your show small and intimate or big and spectacular?

Begin your search accordingly.

TRAFFIC

We mean this in many senses of the word; Are there a lot of passers by? Is that a good thing? A lot of people might walk/drive by but will that hinder your performance…the choice is yours.

NOISE RESTRICTIONS

Depending on the time of night and the zoning laws there may be noise restrictions involved. As an example, Somerset Mills Productions presented “The Fearful” in an empty lot next to residential houses in West End in 2011. As a result, they timed the show to finish before 10pm, spent time notifying and inviting residents to the production and liaised with the Brisbane City Council through the Anywhere Festival to ensure the required approvals were granted.

LOCATION

Frankston has over 128,576 people, Brisbane closer to 2,000,000 and there are real opportunities to take performance to areas that don’t regularly receive them.

With a good, simple promotional strategy you will be surprised how many people unconnected to your cast and crew will turn up- which is ideally what you want.

If you are considering a free/installation performance, please consider passing traffic. We also recommend working with the local council, businesses and other performance groups working nearby to encourage collaboration and a package experience for audiences.

TIME OF DAY

Evening performance slots will be in high demand, but every place is different.

Brisbane shows tends to start earlier than in Sydney or Melbourne. Stand-up comedy tends to attract a late night audience. But there are plenty of show types – including theatre, dance and classical music – that can see traffic at almost any time of day. Children’s shows often thrive in the mid-morning or early afternoon, for example.

All locations are to be rent free for performers and producers. To make this happen, we make all locations a partner of the festival so they benefit by:

  • Aligning their brand with a leader in the arts community in a clever, memorable and integrated way
  • Engaging directly with our audience of non traditional theatre goers
  • Increase business profiles both locally and nationally as a creative, connected and passionate member of the community
  • Gain a high level of targeted exposure for their products and services by bringing new customers to their premises
  • Providing unique opportunities for your customers and employees to be involved from bespoke productions to volunteering opportunities.
HOW TO APPROACH YOUR POTENTIAL VENUE

Previous Anywhere shows have used sheds, cafes, restaurants, museums, galleries, markets, boxing rings, swimming pools, toilets, you name it – we’ve had a performance there.

For any business/venue who hasn’t done Anywhere before, they will need to be convinced that it is easy and it can work for them. Luckily, this is pretty simple.

The advantages are that the show will bring new customers to their business, somethign new for their existing customers and the festival encourages use of the space as it is instead of turning it into a theatre, so the show has minimal impact on the business.

They’re also very likely to get media exposure (free advertising) from being involved with the festival. Others will support you because they want to be involved in a cultural community.

To help you, we’ve created a few simple templates to help you sell the festival and your show to a venue and to ensure they are aware of their commitments. These are all in the YOUR RESOURCES section

If you’re too shy to make the initial contact with the business then please call us and we can talk with the business owner first.

Budgeting

An Anywhere Festival budget is a bit different.

Doing an Anywhere Festival production means you have to rethink how and where you want to spend your money to create the show. Venue hire is eliminated as is large set transformation costs in most cases.

You do, however have to think about how and where people are going to sit and how you will manage the front of house experience. Your audience capacities are also going to be quite different.

WHO ARE THESE NOTES FOR?

These notes are intended to help anyone responsible for expenditure on a production. This is a guide only; each production is in charge of budgeting out their own show.

HOW DO YOU SET A BUDGET?

We want you to have the best production possible on what are (often) meagre budgets. The production budget is a guide to help confirm your budget. It is a common mistake to assume that there is a fixed, pre-determined amount available for each show. There is not. Instead, you should apportion funds based on what you can reasonably earn back.

The production team (director, designer, stage manager etc.) should set their own priorities and use their artistic and commercial judgement to maximise returns for everyone involved.

Our aim is to help everyone involved and to encourage creative ideas. Obviously, there is a limit to what each company can afford and at times you may have to curb your enthusiasm!

In general though, you will find yourselves being cost-conscious, even without the massive cost of venue hire!

How to organise your budget

Every production should have a formal budget meeting. This should be held before any money gets spent, but after initial design ideas have been agreed to. About 6 weeks before the show’s opening is probably about right.

The director or stage manager should call the meeting, inviting set, costume, lighting and sound designers, the show’s publicity co-ordinator and musical director (as required).

You are not required to invite anyone from Anywhere Festival to this meeting, but if you want to, feel free. At the meeting a Budget Form should be filled in and signed off by your team to ensure you all agree on expenditure.

What to put in the budget

THE BASIC LIST

Anywhere shows should consider the following:

Projected income from box office, fundraising, merchandise, etc

Payment to you – the creators of the work. This should be your first expense and everything else is secondary.

Marketing to tell people about YOUR show so you have an audience Yep, that’s the absolutely basic amount.

WHAT YOU MAY NEED TO CONSIDER ON SOME SHOWS

The following items may not be a cost on every show and we encourage you to not use them unless you are going for a big large scale show (See Little Boxes as an example), but if needed they must be included in the production budget:

  • Properties (don’t forget food and drink)
  • Costume materials or hire
  • Transport costs to and from the venue
  • Hire of scripts, scores or band parts
  • Musicians’ expenses
  • Hire of outside rehearsal space
  • Special effects (pyrotechnics etc.)
  • Seating, lighting and sound*
  • For hired items, don’t forget the cost of delivery and collection if you are unable to do this yourselves.

* Do not fall into the trap of spending money trying to convert a space into a theatre. Find a space where that need is removed along with those costs.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T PAY FOR

Anywhere Festival aims to remove or greatly reduce venue hire, technical costs and extraneous personnel costs from your budget. We recommend you design an artistic concept that removes these costs.

Some Anywhere shows have been tech heavy (and amazing experiences!) but if you choose to design your show this way, the amount you need to generate in box office income to pay your actors increases tremendously.

HOW MUCH MONEY IS TOO MUCH MONEY?

There is no pre-determined figure for the total budget but you would be wise to limit your costs in accordance with your predicted box office revenue.

Show me the money!

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the show as a creative development or as a “box office hit”, there are lots of ways to reduce your expenditure and increase your earnings. They do take time but it is up to you to work out where you should spend your energy.

GETTING YOUR EXPENSES COVERED

Have a look at your expenses. What are the key items? Who could cover those costs?

For example, if you want to produce a flyer for the show, can you get it paid for by your performance host by using the second side as a big ad for their business? Are you able to get materials donated in kind? And don’t forget that there are grant options from council, state, federal and corporates. Here are some of the things we think you should be looking into:

GRANTS

Check the availability of grants for developing work through your council or local authority. Arts Councils also offer funding streams, though many will not fund works for sole presentation.

Many trusts and charities may stipulate an interest in assisting creative projects financially, but again, will expect your project to satisfy other criteria.

PRIVATE DONATIONS

Asking for money from your existing network of contacts can be an excellent way to build up a small bank of funding. These needn’t be treated as handouts: you could always organise a benefit event or party in aid of your show and invite friends, family and co-workers along.

CROWDFUNDING

Crowdfunding (sourcing) is a way of raising money by getting people who are your potential and previous audience members to contribute small (and large) amounts to fund your production. Pozible, Indie GoGo and Kickstarter are all examples of crowdfunding platforms that offer a fast way to start a campaign.

**Be warned** A well run and successful crowdfunding campaign takes a HUGE amount of energy and time that may be better spent on your production.

If you do decide to crowdfund, do it early (long before you begin rehearsals!) and do it well. Offering rewards that DO NOT add to landfill (how many tote bags does a person need, I ask you!). There is plenty of helpful advice found online to help you plan a great campaign.

FESTIVAL TICKET SALES

It is important that you do not overestimate revenue from the sale of your show’s tickets.

For budgeting purposes, we suggest three budgets – one at 1/3 capacity, another at 75% (which is the Anywhere Festival average) and one for full houses.

Setting your price

In addition to your press and marketing campaign, a good pricing model can make a major difference to your final sales figures. Start with setting a reasonable ticket price. The best way to do this is to survey the prices in last year’s program for shows and venues similar to yours.

Anywhere does not want you to consider ticket offers (comp tickets/free giveaways/two-for-one tickets or discounts).

Why? Because it devalues your hard work and sets up a pattern where people think that if they wait long enough there will be more giveaways. The key is to set a fair, reasonable price from the beginning.

MERCHANDISE

This could include the selling of your show programmes or T-shirts, CDs or other novelty items. Make sure to bear the cost of production in mind with anything you plan to sell for profit…And be conscious of the environment…does the world need more key rings? 🙂

Advice on sponsorship & partnerships

We are not able to arrange individual fundraising, sponsorship or partnerships, but we can offer advice.

If you consider finding sponsorship and partnerships part of the pre-promotion of the show you’ll be surprised how much it broadens your audience reach even if a formal relationship does not develop or no money changes hands.

By making connections you’re widening your network. The key is to consider your proposition from your prospective sponsors’ point of view:

  • How does your work relate to their organisation?
  • What do they stand to gain from supporting you?

By placing theatre anywhere, the festival provides the opportunity to target businesses that would not ordinarily engage with the arts.

Think about what local business could benefit from their association with you.

FINDING PARTNERSHIPS

STAGE 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH

Think of who would be interested in your proposition: are they local to you?

Could they offer in-kind support?

Does their product fit with the themes of your show?

Have they sponsored other arts organisations?

Most companies have a personal mission statement on their website, as well as the names of departmental contacts for Marketing, Communications, Sponsorship or Partnerships. This kind of specificity is vital to maximising your canvassing efforts.

STAGE 2: MAKE CONTACT

This could be by post, email or (the quickest way of gauging their interest) telephone. Take it as an opportunity to introduce your show and Anywhere Festival. Provide a link to our website to give the company an idea of what the festival is all about.

If the company is interested in hearing more, you can move on to …

STAGE 3: CREATE A WRITTEN PROPOSAL

This should include a summary of your show, an outline of the benefits to the partner or sponsor, the fee (or access to their customers) you are looking for and the timescale.

Benefits could include promotional materials (endorsement on banners, flyers or in your show listing, or displaying their product in the show), hospitality (tickets for the show, drinks reception at the venue) and media coverage (in your press releases and photo call).

OTHER TIPS

USE YOUR CONTACTS

Rack your brains and ask anyone with whom you have a connection, however tenuous. Your pitch is much more likely to succeed if you approach familiar leads.

MAKE IT SPECIFIC

Tailor your proposal to the objectives of the potential sponsor, not to the needs of your show.

BE REALISTIC

Just because a huge multinational turns massive profits does not mean they have thousands to spend on the arts. Local companies are much more likely to see a value in investing, and smaller contributions do mount up.

THINK CREATIVELY

Could you perform at your sponsor’s offices? Could you run a workshop for the staff’s children? This kind of involvement and engagement with company personnel is really popular and could build a unique package.

ENSURE YOU CAN DELIVER

Don’t make promises you can’t keep, as ultimately you only stand to lose.

KEEP CALLING! You just need the ear of the right person at the right time to succeed.

Print Program / Box Office

The print program and online listings are the major calling card for your production – make it count.

If all information is not ready by the 21 February, make sure you notify us

When people open the program to decide what to see, your show name, image, description, price, timings all play an important point.

Before you continue, check out last year’s 2017 Anywhere Theatre Festival Guide (link) and circle the shows that stand out to you and why along with the shows that don’t so you can avoid doing what they did 😉

Note: this year the program may not be in the same format but last year provides a guide to you on the, umm, guide

Make sure you have logged into the https://anywhere.is system as this is where you need to get your program listing ready by the 21 February. After this date access to edit will be temporarily removed and we will create the print program and set up ticketing for your event.

We will look through your final details and will let you know if we have any suggested changes – maybe we think your ticket price is not set at the best place, that the show would work better moved back or forward half an hour, or that you have changed the name of the show to be the same as someone else 😉

You will then be sent an email to confirm the online and print entries are both correct or need corrections.

Show Name

First things first – like all your show information, you can change your show name up until the 21 February deadline. With your show name, think about:

  • Does it give a clue about the show or is it deliberately obscure? Deliberately obscure and clever titles very rarely get the traction
  • Does it give an idea of the theme
  • Does it stand out as a title to the people you think will then buy tickets to your show. Often we have seen great titles but they have been for the wrong show, if that makes sense.

Presented By

This is the line you want below the show name “Presented by ……”

Image

The image is your visual calling card. The simpler and more striking the image, the more likely people will recall it when they see it in the program, online and in your own promotions.

The first image will be the one used in the print program. You can upload additional images that will be displayed as a carousal at the top of your online listing.

IMAGE SPECIFICATIONS

For online, landscape 1440×720 pixels (2:1 landscape) is the best format for solo images with no important details within 30 pixels from the edge as they may be cut off on different browsers and screen sizes.

Make sure you upload at least ONE (1) image that is between 0.5 – 2mb in size for use in online and print. Our system does not allow files larger than 2mb.

If more than one is provided, the system resizes images to create a gallery depending on the number of images.

We recommend that the image does not include text or logos as those details will be in the listing itself..

Provide files as RGB and we will convert all files from RGB (online) for CMYK (print).

To ensure the image also works for the print program, the core detail in your image must be centrally located between the two red vertical lines to fit the 3:4 (Vertical:Horizontal) aspect ratio as per the example below. this will also ensure it works online if you include more than one image for your online listing.

LOGOS

Attach and include any logos in your image gallery and required partner acknowledgement in the descriptive text. The logos will be removed from the image gallery and placed in the show text before final signify of the online listing is complete.

Our logos for your own materials and use of our logos are at this link.

Tag Line

It’s gotta be short and it’s gotta give some more clues about the show name and the title and the reason for going. Examples include:

  • A comedy about dying
  • Melbourne Fringe Award Winner in your backyard
  • Changing the world one dance party at a time.

50 Words

This is the fifty words to go in the print program. If you have doubled your program size, then you have 100 words. This is about giving the extra info after grabbing the potential ticket buyers eyeball with the image and show name.

50 words works out to be three sentences/paragraphs. A good starting format is

  • Intro the show with a short sentence
  • More exciting detail about the show or the people behind it
  • Quote from a review, audience member or closing line.

Full Description

 

This is the chance to build on the 50/100 words and put in more detail. We still recommend keeping it tight with the fifty words and then continuing with more detail.

Remember that everything you add must help to sell your show. If it doesn’t and just muddies the water, don’t include it.

Things to add in here could include:

  • Video links – include the link and we will set it up to appear as a clip in your listing
  •  More quotes

PARTNERS AND LOGOS

 

The Full Description is also the place to acknowledge all people and organisations that have assisted or funded your project.

Check the required text and also add logos in here. We will format and resize them to work best so don’t worry about the size or format not looking right when you

Dates and Times

Using the calendar, select the dates you will be performing. Make sure you select 2018 and not May 2017 😉

Enter the times manually in the times section. If you have different times or a difficult schedule, enter them all like this ” Thursday 10 May @ 2pm & 7pm, Friday 11 May @ 5.30pm”. By typing it out fully, it acts as a double check that the day and date match.

Ticket Prices

Enter your ticket prices. Remember you take 90%, so if you want to take home $20 pet ticket, set them at $22.

Alex would always recommend going for one flat price in the middle of the full and concession price, but if you want full and concession prices, we completely understand.

Please don’t set your ticket prices and then lower the prices when you get closer to the show. There are so many reasons why this is wrong and we are unlikely to make the change.

We are happy though for you to specific that tickets bought before a date are, for example $20 and tickets after a date are $25. This encourages and rewards early booking. Not many shows have done it but we feel it is something worth considering, depending on your show and your expected audience.

If you want to have a specific price for Artist prices, please include. This could be a discount, or on specific performances only, or subject to availability.

CAPACITY

If you don’t know your capacity, err on the safe side and underestimate. It is easier for us to add capacity than to take it away. See the next point.

WHAT YOU CAN CHANGE AFTER THE PROGRAM IS LAUNCHED

The print program is confirmed from 21 February (unless you have notified us of details to come), however, once the program is launched, we can make the following changes to your online listing:

  • We can add extra show dates. Many shows in the past have done this, starting with a couple of performances, getting them nearly sold out and then releasing tickets for a new planned performance that wasn’t listed.
  • You can update your description with new videos, updated text.
  • Main imagery – we don’t recommend it though because it changes the visual clues that audiences are looking for.
  • Special Information – We know that requirements may changes around parking and logistics that may help the audience. This information will also go into the ticket receipt when people book.

WHAT YOU CAN’T OR SHOULDN’T CHANGE

We do not recommend changing the following because it opens up a whole range of issues for you and audiences:

  • Show name.
  • Dates and times (other than additional dates)
  • Ticket prices

 

Special Information

 

Once again Community are partnering with Anywhere Theatre Festival to provide the following:

  • Hire of spaces at the Community Hire rate ($15 / hour)
  • One free booking for rehearsals in the lead up to the festival.

Communify spaces range from small well-equipped conference or meeting rooms, to large airy halls. These are suitable for dance classes, yoga, training, martial arts, spiritual and religious, health and fitness, and more.

All the venues can be found at THIS LINK and include:

  • Woolloongabba Substation
  • Spring Hill Shed
  • Paddington Substation
  • Spring Hill Studio
  • Spring Hill Hall
  • Paddington Annexe
  • Jeays St, Bowen Hills
  • Bardon Hall
  • Ithaca Hall
  • The Exchange
  • Jubilee Hall
  • S.P.A.C.E. at Kenmore
  • The Newmarket Hall and Commercial Kitchen
  • Ashgrove Bowls Club
  • New Farm Neighbourhood Centre
  • Emmanual Uniting Church Hall
  • Paddington Hall

How to Book THE FREE REHEARSAL IN ANY SPACE

  1. Head to THIS LINK, and log in with the following details:
    1. userid – admin@anywhere.is
    2. password – 1nCommunify
  2. Book the one space for 3 hours
  3. Send an email to communityspaces@communify.org.au and admin@anywhere.is so we know which company is using the booking at that time.

IMPORTANT – If we do not receive an email, the booking will be cancelled to allow other people to book.

Marketing and PR

 

“A story is not a story until there is someone there to hear it.”

FIRST STEP

It’s very important to sell your show simply and clearly. You need to sit down and figure out:

  • Who would want to see your show?
  • What they’d like about it?
  • What does your show offer as an experience that would make it stand out?
  • What particular aspect of your show would intrigue people and make them want to know more by paying for a ticket?

Once you’ve established this, maintain a consistent but evolving message through all your publicity and marketing materials. This allows it to cut through with repetition that makes it easier for people to remember.

If you combine the best marketing strategies you can realistically afford with a focused publicity campaign, your show will benefit enormously. An effective and clever marketing campaign can spell the difference between a successful show and a promising one that simply didn’t sell the concept.

Don’t focus on what you can’t afford to do. Instead, focus on being creative, flexible and smart with the resources you have.

MARKETING VS PUBLIC RELATIONS?

MARKETING is a direct attempt to focus attention towards your show. Marketing generally involves paid promotional activities such as advertising or flyers, for which you directly control the message.

PUBLIC RELATIONS works by directing the media (traditional and social) to see the news value and potential public interest in your show and publicising it for you…for free.

 Think of marketing in 4 steps

  1. Awareness leading to…
  2. Interest leading to…
  3. Desire leading to…
  4. Closing the deal

What you do to get everyone to step 4 is going to be your marketing plan.

Awareness

Where to start? We’re going to go backwards through the four points mentioned above so you know where you need to start:

 

  1. Start by asking yourself how many people you need to fill your audience (eg. 5 shows x 50 people = 250pax).
  1. Good news is you can halve that because on average people buy two tickets (that number becomes 125) This is the number of people you need to CLOSE THE DEAL with, to actually buy tickets.
  1. Times that by four to get the total number of people who may want to DESIRE to come (500pax)
  1. Multiply by 5 to get the number you have to INTEREST (2500)
  1. Multiply by 5 to 10 again to get the people that need to be AWARE. (25,000!!!)
  • Distribute flyers
  • Your Facebook page
  • Your eNews
  • People and places around your location
  • Marketing through your venue and partners
  • Stand in a public place
  • Viral videos
  • Put flyers at another show
  • Radio stations
  • Newspapers and print

Interest

  • Great reviews
  • Well known person involved
  • In a location you’d like to visit
  • It’s something you haven’t seen before.
  • The description intrigues you
  • It is something quite different to everything else
  • people they respect or like want to go to or are talking about the show
  • tickets are hard to find or there is limited capacity.
  • Don’t offer cheap or free tickets because it looks like tickets aren’t selling. People value, well, value so keep your value high.
  • Instead of papering the house on the first night, make it a special night with an add-on to give people a deal and then work on selling that night out. Then advertise that one night has sold out. There is nothing like lack of availability to create demand and urgency in ticket buyers.
  • Don’t give out all your information in one hit. Break it up.
  • Go back to the estimates you listed in the exercise at the start of this page….see what things you can do to reach at least that number within each area (Awareness, interest, etc).
  • Do a plan with what you will do each week to reach your estimates that covers a range of different marketing approaches.
  • Put your one page media release together.

 

Yep, that’s gonna need more than your 89 Facebook fans to fill your audience!

Don’t panic though. Your potential audience is going to be at different points along that initial four step path at the top. Obviously, the more you have closer to the end of the process the less people you have to take on the journey from awareness to ticket purchase. What you need to do to convert them differs.

So what are some things you can do to make people aware, interested or even seal the deal with your audience?

Awareness is merely a matter of putting a plan together of ways to market and follow it through; Interest is much more difficult.

Interest is all about targeting your show at the people you think will be interested and doing it in an interesting way.

You need to start this at the very beginning. It isn’t a marketing question- it’s an ideas question. Look at other festival guides and look at the listings and images. What shows appeal to you and which shows make you want to buy a ticket straight away. This could be

Desire

What makes people desire to want to take the next step of buying a ticket? This takes the Interest element from above and ramps it up a notch. The overriding thing that we have found makes people want to desire to go to a production is either:

This s why we encourage you to go with shorter runs and focus on selling the first night out first. The majority of people want to know they are going to something popular that has a buzz about it. Follow the tips in the videos and other sections about building your village to maximise the chance of success.

Closing the deal

Closing the deal means someone will buy a ticket- hooray! Here are a few quick tips and ideas to get people to close the deal as early as possible in the lead up to the festival:

  • Keep giving people new reasons to make it easy: “head to restaurant xx around the corner before the show” “Lock in Mother’s Day now and stop worrying” “You can see our show and then see show xxx after.
  • Make it simple. Don’t give people too many choices. For example, focus on selling out the opening night.
  • Provide updates on ticket sales (where appropriate). Nothing makes people want to see a show more than knowing they might not be able to get a ticket.
  • Always provide the link straight to the booking page so it is never more than a click away for people.

How to find 100 audience members

How to break down a marketing plan for a production.

If you have a plan in place and do this in your sleep, feel
free to ignore this section. For everyone else, hopefully there is something useful here for you.

Our tip is to break down the number of audience seats you have into chunks and do a week-by-week plan
from festival launch to your performance date using these and/or other approaches you have come up with.

So, here’s one
way to get to 100 seats…

1. Partnerships and relationships with nearby businesses. We can’t stress this enough. They say it
takes a village to raise a child and the same goes for a show. Trying to develop a show in isolation will
often result in it being viewed in a similar way.

One of the advantages with Anywhere is that you will be
surrounded by other businesses who normally don’t get involved in theatre because the local theatre is
nowhere near them.

Offer a simply cross promotion on Facebook, ask for a poster to be put up in
exchange for mentions and a double pass, get them to run a competition where people leave a business
card to go in the running for a double pass (which will also build up your mailing list).

2. Put up ten Anywhere Festival posters up and write your show details in the space using a felt tip pen. Do
that now. If our run has already covered your area, put your details on a nearby poster.

3. Run a competition around your show…it doesn’t need to be free tickets either…Do something different – offer a special allocated seat with privileges, a cameo or name check in the show…

4. Get media coverage in the local press or radio. Go through the media list we sent you and pick the five you think reflect your audience, call them up and organise a shoot or a phone call.

Don’t be scared – they are looking for stories and stories are what you do!

5. Promote on your Facebook page at least three weeks before the show. And again closer to the time. Even your best friend will be the last to book…don’t ask me why!

6. Do an unusual promotion on a Facebook/LinkedIn page/group you belong to that ISN’T full of theatre people and your friends. Find a group that loves steampunk/history/local stories etc.

7. Distribute 100 – 200 flyers or Anywhere Fest programs. If using our program, highlight your show and return the programme to the stack.

8. Allocate ten (10) tickets to each of your actors. Make sure they sell them. Actors are notorious for being the very last people to promote their own work.

9. Promote the show through your venue and make sure they have all the details as soon as possible.

10. Call up a radio request line and drop in that you are going to your show that night.

11. Stand in a high traffic area holding onto a a big piece of white card with only your twitter handle, facebook page or web site. Seen this done before. People were intrigued and checked out the site and took photos and posted them online…Kind of like a silent protest, just a bit weirder.

12. Get your show materials to other shows in the festival so that audiences can go from one to the other. Particularly effective for shows in your vacinity.

13. Get all the show personnel to go to a party with a lot of people they don’t know. I’ve seen companies do this very effectively to help get the word out.

**FINAL TIP** 
Encourage people to book online before the show.

You may have 100 people who say they are going to turn up on the night and buy tickets, but there is nothing like a booking to ensure attendance, while also encouraging audiences to then bring some friends as well.

Marketing for free

When it comes to marketing for free, a lot of people think that means they should set up a Fan page on Facebook pronto and spend the next three months posting to it.

It’s not.

Here’s our list of tips, in order of priority, for free marketing exposure:

1. Start early.
The earlier you tell people and give them the option to book online, the more time people have got to plan and spread the word.

2. Distribute material through your performers, partners, venue and businesses near your location (that are not competitors). If you are doing a production at a café and there are three companies providing in-kind services to you, give them the information so they can distribute it to their employees and customers- let them get involved and become your fans.

3. Develop and maintain an email list. 
Using Mailchimp in these days of social media may sound old school, but we’re hoping some stats from 2012 will convince you:

Statistically, a person on an email list is responsible for buying on average 1.3 tickets in comparison to just .07 on Facebook.

4. Don’t waste your time developing a website. It’s a waste of energy (unless you already have one) and dilutes your audience away from actually booking a seat (which is the main priority).

Instead, provide a direct link to your event on the Anywherefest website and use it constantly in all communications you send out (emails/facebook etc.)

Make it super easy for people to BUY NOW.

5. Free listings and gig guides – most papers, street press and radio stations run free gig listings.

It is a good idea to try and get your show included in these gig guides wherever possible. See if the publication will run your picture with the listing, as this will make yours stand out from the rest.

6. Giveaways –
offering free tickets to papers and radio stations is a good way to secure coverage for your show. Most media like to be able to offer free stuff to their readers BUT don’t panic at the last minute and start giving away comp tickets to everyone you know.

It devalues your show for the people who have invested in your production early.

7. Reviews – Reviews are a great way to increase your presence in the print media and on radio.

You do run the risk of an unfavourable review but on the whole, the media are very supportive of new work and a good review in the first week does help encourage audience members to see your show as time starts to run out.

You should offer complimentary ‘Review Tickets’ to members of the media. You will need to arrange these with us in advance by sending through their name, email address and no. of tickets required, especially where capacity is limited.

8. Put together videos and get them up on vimeo or YouTube.
You can also get them up on our website and online booking guide.

9. Perform in a crowded location in the lead up to the festival and provide an easy way (clipboard or link/qr code) so that people walking by can sign up and get onto your mailing list quickly and easily.

Keep in contact with ATF staff as we regularly receive opportunities to do this (City train stations, Queen Street Mall etc.)

10. Create a presence on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or even the newly relaunched MySpace) but have a strategy that gets people to sign up to your eNews and provide real value for those who do (through interesting content).

None of the ideas listed above are mandatory. In fact, clever PR will trump all of these initiatives but as they say, every little bit helps.

It’s your call how you spend your marketing & PR budget.

WHAT ABOUT TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING?

Over the years, we’ve not seen traditional advertising (street press, radio, tv) bring in the desired results versus good old fashioned PR and hard work. Throwing money at a problem rarely reaps results and in a crowded media space it is the act that shouts the loudest that will get the coverage.

The one exception is with an article and photo – make the most of your great image and media release and send it out . Listeners/ readers pay attention to an article in a way they do not with a paid ad.

If you are going to pay money to advertise, make sure you negotiate more – ticket giveaway offers, integration with online content, guaranteed reviews, etc. otherwise walk away.

The media release

Publicity materials include the media release and an image.

You can also prepare additional background information for the media including (but not limited to):

  • artist
    biographies
  • showreels/trailers
  • CDs etc.

They are not essential but can be particularly useful for some art forms e.g. – if you are a music act it is very helpful to have a CD of your work to send to radio stations for airplay.

HOW TO WRITE A MEDIA RELEASE

Why is your show worth the media’s time?

Before we talk about what you need to do, let’s be clear about all the reasons why you will get media interest.

1. It makes their job easier to create content for their publication that their readers/listeners/viewers will find of interest.

2. Number 1. is the only important point. Anything you do to make it harder (not a relevant or interesting story, no contact details, crappy picture, etc) make it harder for them and less likely they’ll find your project as fascinating as you do.

It is important to have a base media release that is:

  • exciting
  • explains your show
  • has info on the people
    involved
  • an interesting story about personnel or
  • linking into current news
  • has your contact details
  • has been
    proofread and
  • has a great image that attracts interest
  • along with a great email tag line
  • and don’t forget to
    mention somewhere your show partners AND
  • Anywhere Festival and the booking details.

Phew! …Then submit it to us so we can give you feedback and get it up on our web site.

That’s just step 1!

With that release as a base, look at media outlets that you think your target audience reads, watches or listens to.

One
by one, figure out how your show connects with that and rewrite your release to appeal to that outlet and fit in as seamlessly as possible. Then send it to that one outlet and follow up.

Repeat for each outlet.

The Picture

A great image is a crucial part of any successful publicity campaign.

SIX RULES FOR A GOOD PUBLICITY IMAGE:

1. All media now accept jpg picture files and it is the quickest and most cost efficient means of getting your image to them.

A word of warning- make sure your image is less than 1MB- in fact, make it less than 500kb. They can always request a high-resolution version later.

2. Make sure your image is a strong one. A great image will be picked up by media and run everywhere. Media are always looking for striking, catchy images.

3. Photos should be crisp, sharp, colour images- unless you’re doing a film noir show and it stylistically fits.

4. Label your jpg files clearly. Do not send a jpg file with a title like ‘Crop Shot’ or ‘In the garden’ or ‘Hand in the air’.

When journalists are receiving hundreds of pics per day they will not be able to work out which show your picture relates to. Label it with your show name and/or production company.

5. You can use a mixture of shots including head shots and live production shots. Make sure your images have something that grabs attention. Take a look at the kinds of photos that get used in newspapers.

6. If you do not have access to jpg images you can use hard copy prints. Again – choose good strong images and label them very clearly before sending them to journalists.

Always include your contact details on the back of the photos or on the slide casing of a transparency.

Other publicity materials

BIOGRAPHIES

Prepare biographies for your key personnel to send to journalists when requested. If a journalist requests an interview with someone from your production it is very helpful if you can supply more detailed information on the person prior to the interview.

Don’t send it with the initial release. It’s unnecessary.

Make sure you list their suburb, as many local papers will be attracted to this information and will endeavour to make contact.

CDS / SHOWREELS AND PAST EDITORIAL MATERIAL

If you have a CD or Showreel it may be appropriate to send it to relevant media. Best to just send a link as it saves you the cost of production and they can review at their leisure.

If you have past press clippings of interviews or great reviews, have these ready to send to journalists if requested.

USE OF ANYWHERE FESTIVAL LOGOS

When you get to creating your promotional materials, it is a condition that you include the Anywhere Festival logo as an identifier that your show is officially part of the Anywhere Festival.

Anywhere Festival provides the logos freely to artists for their promotional use but their use is subject to Copyright. What this means is that you cannot change or manipulate the logos in any way.

So, while you may use the logos in your poster/flyer advertising or even on your website, you must use them ‘as is’. You cannot alter or use any part of the logo in a different creative context other than the one in which it was originally designed.

This might include, but is not limited to: adding to the logo; taking a part of the logo and using it in a different context; animating the logo; changing the colour scheme of the logo, etc.

Essentially, if you didn’t make it, you don’t have the right to change it.

Distribution of your publicity materials

The main way to distribute your media release and image is by email.

It is immediate and cheap but the media all run different programs so while some can open a word file or a pdf file, others cannot.

It is best practice to paste the copy of your release into the body of your email to ensure everyone can access your information.

Never send BIG files unless requested.Do not attach a huge pdf file to an unsolicited email.

If you want to attach a pdf version of your release make sure you save it as a low res, small file.

For more tips, head to http://anywherefest.com/category/media and click on MEDIA RELEASES or NEWS categories to see how other participants in other festivals have written their media releases and to see how the end results looked in printed media.

>> BACK TO PRODUCER PACK

Insurance & legals

Public liability covers you for any damage to property or injury to individuals who attend your show (for example, if a patron trips, falls and injures herself while attending your show) this insurance will indemnify your company in the event of someone making a claim but only if you have acted with due diligence in ensuring all hazards were minimised in the lead up to, and during your run.

We cannot articulate strongly enough how vital it is that you fulfil your obligations under the law and under the agreement you entered into with Anywhere Festival Limited.

If you don’t have your own cover, either think long term and head to a year long cover (individual or group) with someone like Duck for Cover and upload your certificate of currency to your show listing.

If you don’t have separate cover, you must buy into the Anywhere Public Liability (link here) which covers your entire team for $80.

If you need to supply a copy of Anywhere’s Public Liability to a venue, here is the link – 2018.02.08 – COC – Anywhere Theatre LIAB.

The cover you buy into with Anywhere Theatre Festival covers your show as a group and the venue, regardless of whether it is public or private to the value of $20m.

The only thing to remember is that you must also provide a completed risk assessment okayed by us prior to the commencement of the show. Without it, you will not be covered by the insurance.

The purpose of a risk assessment is to keep people and productions safe by identifying, controlling and, where possible, eliminating occupational health and safety hazards onstage, backstage and for your audience. We discuss risk assessments and how to do one in detail in the following lesson.

EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS

If your show includes any special requirements (e.g., pyrotechnics, death-defying acts…late performance times), you should check these with the venue manager and ensure the Council is notified, in case an inspection is required.

 

GOING GREEN

We encourage you to consider the environmental impact of your event, and to investigate ways to reduce this impact.The following websites contain information and suggestions on going green:

Risk assessments

If you have opted in to Anywhere’s public liability coverage, you will need to provide a risk assessment to us that we sign off.

Without this, you are not covered because we don’t know your risks, what you plan to do to minimise high risks and what you will do if the risks eventuate.

Links & Downloads

Risk Assessment Form

The Basics

  • If you have paid to be covered by Anywhere’s Public Liability, you will need to fill in and supply the above Risk Assessment Form via email to admin@anywhere.is
  • Fill it out and check with your venue to ensure they have agreed and signed.
  • Do what you said you would do in the risk assessment, because you are not covered if you don’t.

More DETAIL About Risk

The purpose of a risk assessment is to keep people and productions safe by identifying, controlling and, where possible, eliminating occupational health and safety hazards onstage, backstage and for your audience.

Definitions

Note: These definitions are provided for clarity and guidance only.

Best Practice

A program, process, method, technique, strategy or activity that:

  • has been shown to be effective in the prevention of workplace injury or illness
  • has been implemented, maintained and evaluated
  • is based on current information
  • is of value to, or transferable to, other organizations.
Competent Person

“A person who:

  • is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organise the work and its performance
  • is familiar with the OHSA and its regulations that apply to the work, and
  • has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace
Controls

Measures designed to eliminate or reduce occupational hazards or hazardous exposure.

Due Diligence

The level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to display under particular circumstances. In terms of health and safety, this means taking all reasonable precautions, to prevent injuries or incidents in the workplace.

Hazard

Any condition or circumstance that has the potential to cause injury or illness.

Likelihood

The probability of a hazard leading to an occupational injury or illness.

Risk Assessment

Careful evaluation of all equipment, machinery, work areas and processes to identify potential hazards that workers may be exposed to and assessment of the impact of the identified hazards on those that work in the area. Assessing the risk means determining the likelihood that the hazard may lead to injury or illness and the severity of that potential injury or illness.

Severity

The seriousness of the potential occupational injury or illness resulting from a hazard.

Supervisor

“A person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker”. In live performance, this could include a production manager, technical director or equivalent.

Procedure

The theatre company/group should designate one or more competent person(s) to conduct the risk assessment. This person should be a Supervisor such as a Production Manager, Technical Director, or equivalent. The Stage Manager, once hired, should be involved in the assessment.

The Supervisor(s) should draft the risk assessment for all elements of the production as soon as preliminary designs are submitted. This process should begin as early as possible in the planning of the production and should continue throughout the production process.

A risk assessment should contain the following steps:

1. Identify the hazards for the production and activities involved.

Review workplace information such as production designs, worker reports of concerns, workplace inspection records, incident investigation reports, show reports etc. to identify hazards.

Hazards may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Fog, smoke and special effects
  • Flame effects
  • Pyrotechnics, explosives
  • Weapons
  • Excessive sound levels
  • Slips, trips and falls due to:
    • Irregular stair heights
    • Raked floors
    • Unsuitable floor surfaces, especially for dance and fights
    • Scenery, props, equipment, cables etc. backstage
  • Falls from height due to:
  • Unguarded edges of balconies, elevated set pieces, orchestra pits, traps etc.
    • Performer flying
  • Reduced visibility due to:
    •  Low lighting states and blackouts
    • Masks and headgear with potential to obstruct vision
  • Hazards of moving scenery due to:
    • Installation or disassembly of scenery
    • Automated scenery
    • Scene changes within a performance
    • Changeover from one production to another
  • Hazards due to the use or potential misuse of props or costumes
  • Hazards due to a lack of training or certification of replacement crew or performers (for example: in performer flying, firearms, and pyrotechnics)
  • Hazards relating to power failure, emergency access, egress or evacuation
  • Hazards specific to outdoor venues such as wind, heat, inclement weather, insects, animals, etc.
  • Hazards due to the use of tools, equipment and materials

2. Determine who might be harmed and how

Identify those individuals who could be affected, including performers, production staff, cleaners, contractors, maintenance workers, etc. Recognise that people who are pregnant, young, elderly, or who have a disability may be especially vulnerable.

Identify how the hazard could cause harm. Consider how your work affects other workers present as well as how their work affects your workers

3. Evaluate the hazard and decide on precautions

Determine a Risk Rating for each hazard by considering the likelihood and severity of an occupational injury or illness resulting from each hazard.

  • Likelihood – Estimate, using High, Medium or Low, how likely or probable it is that the hazard will cause injury or illness.
  • Severity – Estimate, using Major, Moderate or Minor, how serious the injury or illness could be.
  • Risk Rating – Plot the Likelihood and Severity on the Risk Rating Chart to determine the Risk Rating.

4. Control of health and safety hazards

The control of hazards is a general duty for employers under the OH&S Act. Legal requirements governing exposure to various safety hazards can be found in the sector-specific regulations. Health hazards are either covered by the sector regulations or separate hazard-specific regulations.Wherever possible, hazards should be removed. If this is not possible, controls should be designed to eliminate or reduce the hazard to levels that present a minimal risk to worker health and safety. Types of controls, in order of preference, include:

Engineering controls physically control hazards, and are the first and preferred choice of hazard control methods. (Examples include substitution (e.g. using a less toxic chemical, building a catwalk with guardrails) isolation (e.g. isolating noise using soundproof barriers), and ventilation (e.g. installing local exhaust).

Administrative controls are the second choice of hazard control methods and include the development and use of procedures, worker training, scheduling and supervision, preventive maintenance programs, signage, etc.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to lessen the potential harmful effects of exposure to a known hazard. PPE is considered the last resort of hazard control and should be used only after engineering and administrative controls have been shown to be impractical, ineffective or insufficient. (Examples include eye protection, protective clothing, fall protection, foot protection, head protection, hearing protection, respiratory protection, etc.)

Where there are no legal requirements under the OH&S Act or its regulations governing the exposure to a particular hazard, select appropriate controls for that hazard, taking into consideration time and feasibility. No person should be exposed to a hazard that has not been adequately controlled. If controls cannot be implemented for any reason, the activity posing the hazard should not be attempted.

5. Record findings and implement controls

Decide who will track the controls and issue updates, with the frequency of updates determined by the complexity of the production.

Ensure that administrative controls are followed and personal protective equipment is used. Employers have a duty to ensure that prescribed equipment, materials and protective devices are provided and workers have a duty to wear and use the prescribed personal protective equipment.

Distribute and post risk assessments and relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (fog fluid etc.) in designated locations such as callboards.

6. Review assessment and update if necessary

Continue the risk assessment process throughout production, including discussions at scheduled meetings. Production is a fluid process so conditions should be monitored continuously for new or evolving hazards. Details related to props, wardrobe, wigs and make-up may not emerge until rehearsals begin. As circumstances change, the risk assessment should be updated.

If a health or safety issue arises during the rehearsal period that is not in the risk assessment, it should be resolved through discussion and corrective action that meets or exceeds the requirements of your state’s OH&S Laws.

If the issue cannot be resolved in this way, Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. The Supervisor should postpone the potentially unsafe action until a final resolution has been reached and corrective action has been taken, if required.

Ensure that the written risk assessment is updated and the version is archived for future reference.

Sample schedule for risk assessment

Pre-season / before the first rehearsal

The Production Manager/Technical Director (PM/TD) will draft the risk assessment as soon as preliminary designs are submitted. The PM/TD will lead a risk assessment meeting before the first rehearsal.

Those in attendance should include, Stage Managers, Designers, Director, Choreographer and Fight Director (as required) should be included.

Following the meeting, Stage Management will post and distribute the risk assessment to those in attendance as well as the Designers, Director, Choreographer and Fight Director if they were unable to attend. After the initial form has been completed and the risk assessment meeting has been held, the PM/TD and Stage Manager for each production shall agree on who will track and issue updates, with the frequency of updates determined by the complexity of the production.

During the rehearsal period

Stage Management (PM/TD) will identify necessary changes and collaborate with the creative team on updates of the risk assessment. The PM/TD will continue be actively involved in the risk assessment and will schedule meetings to discuss health and safety issues as needed.

The risk assessment should be reviewed at these points in a production:

  • First Runthrough/Workthrough (in the rehearsal hall or onstage), when the whole play has been blocked.
  • Prior to Cue to Cue.
  • Prior to First Preview (The PM/TD or Stage Manager will notify the House Manager of any effects that may affect the audience (such as live flame), so that Front of House staff may be informed.)
    After First Preview.
  • After Opening.
  • Periodically throughout the run of the production, as appropriate.
  • At any change in the run of the production including personnel, venue, and production element.
  • After an incident (such as injury, health concern, or near accident.)
  • The final risk assessment should be archived for future reference.

Copyright

If you are performing a work that is under copyright, you must get permission in writing from the author or his/her literary agent or publisher.

Typically, a work remains under copyright for the length of its author’s life plus 70
years, though there are numerous exceptions to this rule. It’s your responsibility to find out your obligations under the law and, if necessary, to pay the appropriate copyright fees.

These are usually calculated as a percentage of box office revenue and are sometimes subject to a minimum payment requirement.

You can usually find the contact details for an author’s literary agent or publisher on the inside cover or early pages of the script.

All communications should be in writing and you may be required to pay a deposit (treated as an advance against royalties) as soon as a fee is agreed. Even if you have already gained permission to perform your production elsewhere, you’ll need to ask for permission again to perform it at Anywhere Festival.

APRA & AMCOS

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) and AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners’ Society) administer the rights of the world’s composers, songwriters and publishers in Australia and New Zealand.

If you intend to use copyrighted music (either live or prerecorded) you’ll need to obtain the appropriate license.

Go to www.apra.com.au for more information. For more information on copyright, visit The Australian Copyright Council’s website –www.copyright.org.au

ILLICIT OR CONTROVERSIAL CONTENT

The police can close down a show that includes indecency or the presentation of obscene acts. The Theatres Act 1968, which regulates the licensing of venues for theatrical performance, makes certain provisions against the performance of works that are considered to be obscene, to incite racial hatred or to provoke a breach of the peace.

You may also be at risk of falling foul of recent terrorism legislation that makes an offence of any indirect encouragement of terrorism. If lampooning a public or other real-life figure, you must be wary of a portrayal that could be considered defamatory or damaging.

Check with the us if you are at all concerned about your legal position.

Serving Alcohol

 

Before we state, anything, we ned to point you to the Office of Liquor and Gaming, which is the source of all our information. Processes and rules change and though we try to be as accurate as possible, we always recommend going to the OLG web site for up to date information

So you want to sell alcohol at your Anywhere event. Here are the three options

  1. Run your event in a business with a liquor permit
  2. Factor a drink into the price of your ticket and provide the alcohol for free
  3. Provide a bar where people can make a donation
  4. Set up a bar to sell alcohol

Do I need a permit?

The Office of Liquor of Gaming has a quick quiz to allow you to test if you require a Community Liquor Permit. It is at this link.

We have run through this with several different examples and have found we get a “No Permit required” for options 2-4 above. Option 1. will already have a licence.

When filling it out, remember that your event is under the auspice of Anywhere Theatre Festival, a not for profit organisation and all proceeds are going towards our vision of enabling performances anywhere, which includes payment to you as artists.

Serving Alcohol Responsibly

If you decide to provide alcohol, it is important to do so responsibly. The Office of Liquor and Gaming has a number of things that are recommended. Following them will ensure you are following the required legislation. Once again, always check their web site as a final arbiter.

  1. Signage at the event. A number of the signs can be downloaded from the Queensland Government web site at this link. Choose your discretion on the types that are required for your circumstance.
  2. At least one person who is accredited as a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). The course can be done online for $17-$25 and we recommend ensuring one person in your team has done this course.
  3. Payment method. We can provide online payment options but we also recommend having cash float available
  4. An event plan that factors in how the liquor will be served and rubbish disposed. These could be as simple as a couple of lines for small shows and a more detailed plan for events with 100-200 people in attendance.

ACCESSIBILITY

 

This section will be updated with a lot more goodies and information after the program and box office deadline.

In the meantime, Access Arts provides a collection of practical checklists and information sheets for arts and cultural organisations to assist in improving access and developing audiences.

Their resources can be found at: http://www.artsaccessaustralia.org/resources

Opening Night and Performances

Apart from making sure your show goes up as scheduled in the programme, you have a number of administrative and legal requirements as per your Anywhere Festival contract.

Fulfilling these requirements on a daily basis will ensure that your box office takings are transferred to you immediately upon close of your show.

If you choose not to do it daily, you may find it more difficult to stay on track with audience totals, holds and Risk documentation.

DAILIES

Please complete your daily ticket sales reports here after every performance. It keeps track of your daily audience totals, including booked and total audience. It also asks whether there were any incidences to report. If yes, please see point (3).

TICKET HOLDS

Please keep Anywhere up-to-date via email with regard to comp ticket requirements. If you know you’ve invited 20 industry professionals/ guests but we have only 10 on hold, the venue has every right to stop your guests from entering the premises, especially if it creates a fire risk.

Send us an email with the name of your comps, how many tickets they want and an email address and we will issue the tickets straight to them. Easy! …And don’t think, “Oh there’ll be plenty of space”, plenty of shows maxed out capacity and had to turn people away on the door.

OH&S INCIDENT REPORTS

If you answered “Yes” to the question: “Do you have an Incident to Report” on the Dailies form then please complete the details on the form so we have a record on file.

FRONT-OF-HOUSE

Do not under estimate the value of a well run Front-of-House.

Each production is responsible for finding their own front-of-house staff. Please ensure they’ve been properly briefed about collecting monies, petty cash and how you’d like them to corral the audience to signify start time etc.

Remember, this festival goes up in unconventional venues that won’t have flashing lights/sounds to signify it is time to take your seat- there may not even be seats, so plan ahead and consider the FoH experience as an integral part of the design of your show.

Now, if you are SOLD OUT out and you get walk-ups on the night, it is your call whether to accept them. If your venue is at risk of over-capacity then you must legally turn them away and perhaps offer them a ticket to another performance (people are especially nice if you give them a 2-4-1), but if you have permission from your venue to extend capacity and it does not break any laws, then please use your discretion.

TICKET BOOKINGS

You can access your ticket bookings at any time by logging in to your artist dashboard.

Navigate to your Events and click View Attendees. You will be able to print, email or export this to your preferred method. Ticket sales will go off-sale 60 minutes before your show goes up. Unless, of course, your shows sells out before then!

When that happens Alex will send through your financial summary so you can issue an invoice as soon as you have finished your run.

Finally, every patron that books online or by phone is told that they are not required to print their tickets.

This is an Anywhere policy that we ask you to honour in a bid to save the planet.

If they quote their name/booking number that corresponds to the number and name listed on your door list, then please accept this as proof of purchase. We rarely have incidences of people taking advantage of this system!

Wrap up

Congratulations! It’s all over!

Hopefully, you’ve satisfied all the goals you set yourselves way back in Lesson 1…Why not look back and check- you may even surprise yourself!

Lesson Links & Downloads

The best experiences at Anywhere come from artists who used the festival to aim high- whether that’s by aiming for sell-out crowds or garnering five star reviews- everyone’s ‘high’ is different. Perhaps being seen by the powers that be in established theatre was your goal- did you succeed?

….Others use our platform to learn- to learn how to fail so that next time, they can thrive.

That’s the beauty of Anywhere.

Hopefully…you’ve gotten some great press, reviews for your next show, images, and discovered a new way of working…but what now?

Paul chats in the next lesson about life after Anywhere but right now, there’s a few things I need to wrap up your time with us here at Anywhere Fest and of course… get paid!

You’ll also need to ensure I have all your attendance figures. Either in the form of dailies (outlined in Lesson 8 and linked below), via the excel spreadsheet of your downloaded door lists or simply by email…as long as I have them, I’m happy- you’re happy- we’re all happy!

We will not issue box office until you have completed this form. Your answers help us to improve our service to you and inform our grant and funding applications. Your opinion matters.

You will be paid no later than five working days after you’ve submitted all your forms.

Do telephone the office on 07 3102 4683 if you’re unsure whether you’ve submitted all the necessary paperwork or there’s a delay in your payment.

On that note, congratulations! You’ve done a sterling job getting your new work to the stage. Thanks so much for being part of Anywhere Festival!

What next?

Thank you for joining us! You’ve worked hard to bring your show to the festival, but what is the next step?There are tons of festivals all over Australia (and indeed Internationally). Just google “world festival network” for a list of several hundred. I bet tons would love to have your show in their line-up.Could your production extend its run? Or maybe your event could be a monthly event in your area…Or can it tour widely? …Find your tribe and you’ll find your audience!Watch the video above for inspiration!

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USE OF LOGOS

It is a condition that you include the Anywhere Theatre Festival logo as an identifier on any posters and print material to demonstrate that your show is an official part of Anywhere Theatre Festival.

The logo should be placed top right at a size that enables the festival dates and name to be legible. All uses of the logo online and print must be sent to Anywhere to confirm correct use..

Logo for Online PNG

Logo for Print EPS

Logo for Print JPG

Logo for Print AI

It is vital that you send a proof of any posters and leaflets for us to check.

Anywhere Theatre Festival provides the logos freely to artists for their promotional use but their use is subject to Copyright. What this means is that you cannot change or manipulate the logos in any way.

So, while you may use the logos in your poster/flyer advertising or even on your website, you must use them ‘as is’. You cannot alter or use any part of the logo in a different creative context other than the one in which it was originally designed.

This might include, but is not limited to: adding to the logo; taking a part of the logo and using it in a different context; animating the logo; changing the colour scheme of the logo, stretching it or modifying its dimension or perspective.

PREFERRED IMAGE SIZES FOR ANYWHERE ONLINE AND PRINT

Check out the Program section of the Producer Pack for online and print image specifications at this link.

Your Resources

We’ve put all the resources in one spot so you can find them fast! Some resources are web links, others downloads (.xls etc.) – all will open in a new browser window.