Thank you for joining us!
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.
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer The information contained in this product is for information purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. Information provided is subjective. Neither the Publisher nor Author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages resulting from use of this guide. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or any other implied or explicit purpose.
- 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).
- 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…
- 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…
- As a festival we are not interested in how many tickets the “festival” sells but we are interested in how much your shows sell. In 2011-2014 the average audience capacity was 74% compared to the Edinburgh Fringe figure of somewhere between 6-12%.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
Change the world?
Workshop an idea and give it a public airing prior to developing it further?
Develop your own understanding of yourself and the world around you?
Provide another run for an existing piece?
Redevelop a piece with the intention of touring?
Develop a reputation or to establish the aesthetic of the company?
Provide a new audience with the opportunity to engage with the piece?
To 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:
Set clear reasons for doing the show
Set realistic expectations and budgets
Do the planning ahead
Get as many people involved as early as possible
Have a way to manage the producing and creating roles, either by separating the roles or ensuring you give yourself enough time for both.
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!
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 Festival 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 Festival 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 $2 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.
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 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.
Finding a location
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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 (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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Finding your audience
“A story is not a story until there is someone there to hear it.”
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.
Risk, insurance & legals
Yep, we know it’s up there with budgeting and filling-in grant applications in your list of favourite things “to-do” but it is vital that you know your responsibilities under the law.
For the first time since 2012, Anywhere Theatre Festival will cover your public liability.
Anywhere should be part of your career plan and if you plan to do more than one festival you are best to get your own annual cover instead. As a starting point, head to Duck for Cover or find a better deal elsewhere. Please send copy of proof of your cover as soon as you have it available.
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.
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.
The advice below is general advice for all companies:
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.
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.
SERVING FOOD & ALCOHOL
Once you start serving food and alcohol the requirements become more onerous. We will provide more detail on the requirements to those who want more information or to ensure clarity on the issue.
ACCESSIBILITY (ACCESS ARTS)
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
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES
One of the wonders of Anywhere Festival is that you don’t have to fly to us to be part of it.
In fact, to state it clearly, we are not in a position to support visa applications and therefore cannot have international acts coming to the festival that requires them.
We’d love you here, but we want to encourage performances in your own country made accessible to audiences through modern technology. In 2011, U.K. company Booster Cushion streamed the performance of Little Red Riding Hood and allowed
audiences in Britain and Brisbane to watch it.
U.K and Norway based Imploding Fictions took this another step further, creating a series of short plays accessible only through Skype where the end of each piece
gave you the clue to find the next Skype number to video call.
In 2012, UK based Marcus Lilley ran Something Perfectly Innocent as a twitter production from the U.K and Texas based Hidden Room Theatre ran a transatlantic rehearsal with UK actors that was streamed for Brisbane audiences to watch.
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:
More 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.
Note: These definitions are provided for clarity and guidance only.
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.
“A person who:
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organise the work and its performance
(b) is familiar with the OHSA and its regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace
Measures designed to eliminate or reduce occupational hazards or hazardous exposure.
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.
Any condition or circumstance that has the potential to cause injury or illness.
The probability of a hazard leading to an occupational injury or illness.
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.
The seriousness of the potential occupational injury or illness resulting from a hazard.
“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.
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
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
- 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.
Links & Downloads
Opening Night & Beyond
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.
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).
Please keep Alex up-to-date via email with regard to comp ticket requirements. If you know you’ve invited 20 industry professionals/ guests but Alex has 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 her 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
(This is my favourite bit!)
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to issue me with an invoice via email – if you’re not familiar with how to invoice, I’ve included an invoice template in the attachments at the bottom of this lesson.
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!
You’ll also need to complete the feedback survey, found at the Anywhere Tools page so that we can release your box office takings.
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!
Lesson Links & Downloads
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!