Today I performed a show the smallest audience I’ve ever had a show for. This year’s Adelaide Fringe has been down on ticket sales across the board. On a artist only Facebook group producers and artists are all talking about the lack in ticket sales, and overall less hype. This is all apart of a larger trend starting last year with artists complaining about a drop in ticket sales, and led to some heated debates between fellow artists.
It was our first show last year and we didn’t really have issues selling tickets. But this year, we are having some serious troubles filling seats during the weekdays. I woke up this morning and I had no pre-sales at all for the show, at 12pm HalfTix open for the day and offer half prices tickets to the show until 3pm, during that time I sold 2 tickets (last year we could move 30+ tickets during HalfTix) so I hit the streets to do some flyering.
This is where it gets tricky out show is at 6pm, so the people you end up flyering are city workers and retail shoppers going about their own thing, they don’t really want some dude handing a flyer to them to see a show. Flyering during the day and at the end of the work day is a complete failure. I resorted to annoying my friends to move tickets to mediocre success, no one likes last minute plans or re-watching my show. And believe it or not literally handing free tickets to people on the street is much harder than you expect. I gave 4 complimentary tickets for some uni students, none of which showed up.
I open a larger show later next month, and I am now worried about my investment in Fringe this year. I think I will probably end up losing money or at best break even at the end of this. Lots of lessons, lots to learn about spending money on marketing that has no effect to ticket sales. I will follow up later on in the season, but for now I’m concerned.