6 Tips to Better Farm-to-Table Events

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city-growers-urban-farming-benefitChefs are talking about it. Foodies are asking for it. These days, farm to table is on the tips of everyone’s tongues.

High-quality ingredients make a chef’s job easier since they are so naturally delectable.  Any respectable food lover will search for the freshest and most lovingly grown produce.  More and more, restaurant owners are partnering with local farmers to find it. In some cases, they’re cutting out the middle man and farming their own ingredients.

Any way you slice it, farm to table fundamentally changed the way we dine out.

Today’s food lover and farm-to-table dinners

Today’s food lover wants to know where it comes from, how it was grown, and if it will be around next time. Farm-to-table dinners allow food fans to get up close and personal to what they’re eating and hopefully, walk away with a greater appreciation for it. The term “farm to table” has to do with the process of growing, harvesting, preparing and consuming food.  However, many types of food and beverage events fit under this umbrella.  On the farm or in the restaurant, the slow food and farm-to-table movement puts the spotlight on the highest-quality, locally grown ingredients.

No need to overdress for these dining experiences, the focus is on the food. If you are considering hosting your own farm-to-table event, kudos to you. This movement will slowly re-school us on how vital and precious food is to long-term survival. Since farm-to-table events involve a lot of harvesting and preparing ingredients right from the farm, it’s smart to have a checklist for your event planning.

 

We know your farm-to-table event is going to be great, but the below tips will help make it even better.

6 tips to a better farm-to-table experience

1. If you are hosting an outdoor event, be aware of the experience you are building.  Once you have a realistic inventory of possible issues, you can address them one by one.  If you don’t have access to a farm, reach out to some in your area. It’s a great way to build community.

2. Going to be outdoors? Don’t forget about pests. Bees, mosquitoes, ants, or greedy birds could throw a wrench in the works, so have a test dinner prior to the event.  Find methods for detouring/repelling critters without also repelling your guests.  Marigolds and other plants make good natural repellents that don’t overpower the senses.

3. Wind, rain and yes, too much sun can turn a picturesque dinner into a logistic nightmare. No one wants soggy biscuits, so have a second location planned in case it pours.  Follow weather forecasts and adjust accordingly.

4. Keep your dishes and décor simple and elegant. Minimalist décor offers a more authentic experience and frees up time and resources that could be put into the execution of the event. Choose simple recipes that highlight flavor; the best ingredients will taste amazing with little help. Make sure that as many ingredients as possible are locally grown by organic sustainable farms.  If you have a dish in mind and can’t source the ingredients, try a different recipe or variation.  This limitation will bring out your creativity and inspire your visitors to buy locally.

5. Make your guests feel at home on the farm. Ensure a great, homey ambiance by inviting people you know. Friends, family, or farm staff could make wonderful assistant hosts.  Allow plenty of time before, after and in-between courses for guests to take in the surroundings and chat.  If everything goes well, time stands still and memories are made.

6. Above all, relish the event and your company.  Confidence and genuine enjoyment are absolute musts to making your dinner a sweet success.  The impression from a great night will last a lifetime and keep diners coming back.

Calling all food lovers: Comment below with your fresh tips on food. Hungry? Find a farm-to-table feast near you.

(First photo from City Growers Benefit last month in New York)

Marijuana Events: Lessons Learned for Organizers and Attendees

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Bud and EventsYou’ve heard it. Marijuana is the new merlot. Green-tie is the new black tie. The modern pot party is here and if you live in Washington or Colorado, you’re invited.

Wait … where are all those hip gatherings starring Mary Jane?

If you’re a Washington or Colorado event organizer, you may have considered having a tasting, concert or theater event, appealing to the epotcurious. White linens. Dazzling chandeliers. Marijuana mashed potatoes served out of a martini glass.

Or what about a weed wedding? Pot weddings complete with joints as favors, budtenders and bud bouquets are a new trend according to a recent New York Times article. Marijuana tourism offers another pun-rife, alliterative business opportunity: Bed and Bakefast anyone? How about a Toke Tour?

Legally, residents of Washington and Colorado can purchase pot and imbibe in private. But curating a compliant 4/20-friendly event isn’t cut and dry. Legal haziness over what constitutes public and private has made organizing a marijuana soiree somewhat of a pain in the gluteus maximus.

That hasn’t stopped event planners from trying.

Classically Cannabis, The High Note Series

Jane West, owner of Edible Events, Co., an event planning company that specializes in cannabis events ran into a few snafus when she planned Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Originally, the three-concert fundraiser was a public event until Denver city officials urged the Colorado Symphony to shut it down.

But the show must go on. And so, West worked closely with the city and turned it into a private, invitation-only affair with donations. “There are a lot of unsafe, unregulated events,” West said. She stressed that her events are bring-your-own-cannabis (BYOC) and strive to comply. “I talked to 6 different gallery owners and picked a private gallery with a large outdoor patio.” The promotional page for the concert included a lengthy disclaimer.

The last of three concerts wrapped up on August 15. Despite all the hoopla beforehand, they went smoothly. Lesson learned: work with the city, host private events and strive to comply.

Hemposium at Washington HempfestWhere’s the Pot Party? Private Venues Reign

Currently, laws in both states prohibit open and public consumption on public property. Despite what a lot of people think, public consumption includes vaporizers and medibles, like brownies. What about a private loft, farmhouse or gallery? Sure, but opening a large marijuana event to the public might present issues. And before you take your party to the high seas, keep in mind Washington waters are regulated by federal agencies.

Meet the Bud Garden: Secure Pot Spots

Seattle Hempfest set up two 21 and over adult lounges, shielded from public view. Inside the sponsored tents, adults sat comfortably on lawn chairs set up around tables, quietly puffing, passing and chatting.

Seattle Hempfest2014 was the first year Hempfest included the lounges. Vivian McPeak, Executive Director of Hempfest explained in the event program, “The 21 and over lounges are part of a pilot program aimed at reducing youth exposure to pot smoke and providing cool spaces with education, refreshments, and ambiance. If we can make this model work over time it will be the first step to having adult toking areas in every public event in Washington.”

Along a similar vein (er…strain) the Denver County Fair (Aug. 1-3) set up a carded pot pavilion on a separate level from the rest of the fair. According to the fair’s website, “In compliance with Denver’s new laws, there will be no marijuana allowed on the premises during this event.”

But what’s a pot pavilion without … pot? A rolling contest, a blue ribbon marijuana plant contest, Doritos-eating contest, and laser light show. Judging for some of the activities took place off-site. All fun and games and cannabis compliant. However, this event didn’t end so smoothly. Fair officials are currently investigating three separate claims of THC-poisoning that allegedly came from a chocolate bar sample handed out by a fair pavilion vendor. The candy was supposed to be drug-free.

Roll Out: What Should Event Organizers Do?

Learn from example. A cannabis-friendly event can be a good or bad high depending on how you navigate the nebulous new laws.

Teens Learn Design Fundamentals

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volunteer-seattle-career-fairVolunteering makes people happier, the community healthier, the world brighter. Our staffers love getting out there and devoting time to great causes. With our collective volunteer hours, we have great stories to share, shout outs to give, and amazing organizations to highlight.

This tale of inspiring voluntarism comes from Karen Chappell, a Brown Paper Tickets design professional who spoke at a career event for The Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment (ACE), a vibrant SeaTac-based learning community that empowers students to become active citizens.

At the fair, 20 professionals shared sage advice and job expertise with 11- and 12th-grade high school students, who will be navigating their own career paths in just a few short years.

Chappell taught the basics of branding and design, gave out goodies, and relayed the tools necessary for successful visual marketing. “It was a wonderful experience and I’m hoping to do an in-depth workshop,” she relayed. “They were a great class.”

Brown Paper Tickets allows every employee to use an extra 40 paid hours per year to give back to the community via nonprofit volunteering. Our Paid Time On benefit earned the company a finalist honor for a 2014 GeekWire Perk of the Year Award.

What Is Roller Derby Love? Watch and Learn

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Blood, sweat, tears, joy, family. Roller derby hurts, but it also heals.

Brown Paper Tickets went behind the bouts to talk to 4 derby girls about the sport’s lasting impact. For young women like Uno Socko, the athletes are role models. “I didn’t really see many sports where it was just all women. I thought they were tough. I thought they were really cool. And I wanted to be like them.”

For Donna ‘The Hot Flash’ Kay, roller derby is a metaphor for life. “Roller derby is just like life. We go around in circles. We try to gain momentum. We fall. We assess the damage. We get back up. We look for the holes to jump through. And we look behind to help each other through the pack.”

Broken bones and bruises are real. But so is the love. Derby love. Watch below.

Roller Derby Video


Love our video? Comment below or share it with your league pals, friends and family. Want more derby? Check out our how to get more involved in roller derby.

New Neighborhood Radio Stations Popping Up in Puget Sound

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Raising the 35'  mast with FM antenna attached

Raising the 35′ mast with FM antenna attached

Neighborhoods in Seattle and the Puget Sound have strong individual identities, defined and protected by their denizens. Now some neighborhoods will even have their own radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved 5 new Puget Sound neighborhood radio stations, and one of them, Voice of Vashon, may be on the air as early as October. In addition, 10 more moved toward obtaining FCC approval earlier this month, with the announcement of a 90-day “settlement period” for finalizing their application.

Neighborhood radio stations serving Seattle’s First Hill, Capitol Hill, Central District, International District and Downtown, as well as the communities of Vashon Island, Bothell, SeaTac and Bellingham were approved for construction. FCC permits are in process for stations serving Northwest Seattle, the University District, the Central District, Magnuson Park, Rainier Valley, Bainbridge Island, Skyway, Mercer Island, Duvall and Tacoma.

These FCC approvals constitute the creation of a new kind of “neighborhood radio” station –  broadcasting for the first time in geographically-defined communities in the nation’s largest cities. Although low-power FM radio stations (LPFM) reaching 2 to 10 miles have been around for more than a decade, licenses were awarded almost exclusively in sparsely-populated rural areas. This exponential growth in audience size and influence with a particular neighborhood, island, small town or suburb redefines the potential for these tiny-but-powerful media outlets.

In addition to a terrestrial broadcast, neighborhood stations can expand their reach by live streaming and hosting on-demand content. They will incubate local talent and have the potential to re-imagine public media. Many will be participatory and volunteer-powered, addressing the widening digital divide with low barriers to access tools and training. Ultimately, they will form a neighborhood layer of infrastructure for the public media ecosystem and emergency response.

Meet Sabrina Roach, our public media “Doer”

LPFMMap_v2_web-01_puget-sound-radio-stationsCreating and replicating this kind of community service juggernaut in large cities across the nation is what  Not-Just-For-Profit ticketing company Brown Paper Tickets had in mind when hiring public media professional Sabrina Roach as a Doer (a community change-maker) with a goal of filling every available low-power radio frequency with a qualified applicant, getting their stations built and sustainably on-air. Roach directed National Make Radio Challenge and created a Puget Sound Neighborhood Radio Cohort (PSNRC), the nation’s first support network for regional LPFM radio applicants to pool resources and foster a learning community to support these tiny-but-fierce stations.

“This group is ahead of the curve,” said Sally Kane, CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. “Although we see collaborations between community broadcasters, they often happen after those stations have already formed a culture of being very independent, and by that time they can find it much harder to share resources. Puget Sound Neighborhood Radio Cohort is setting a tone from the very beginning that will make every radio station in their group stronger and more sustainable.”

Roach supports the PSNRC with free counsel and guidance to public and private resources, panels on fundraising and education on best practices in the industry. She develops relationships and shares resources offered by public agencies, private corporations and leaders in public media, community media and commercial media that could provide assistance or support to the applicants, and shares industry news, best practices and connections with PSNRC applicants.

“We’ve created a virtual neighborhood radio station incubator for cooperation, in addition to operation,” Roach said. “My work is part of where the rubber hits the road in the implementation of Brown Paper Tickets’ social mission to build stronger, healthier communities,” said Roach.

KVSH 101.9 on Vashon Island has moved quickly since getting an FCC construction permit and hopes to go on the air as early as October.  Their format will be, “All Vashon all the time,” and their motto is “Island-powered media.” With 93% of their $50,000 funding goal met, volunteers have been building as the funds came in and they are already “Raising the Tower” for their new community FM radio station. Just last week a team of volunteers climbed to the top of a giant water tank to erect the station’s mast and antenna. You can view the video on the Voice of Vashon donation page:  VoiceOfVashon.org/RaiseTheTower.

If you’d like to volunteer to help a new radio station coming to your neighborhood, email Sabrina, or access the links below to learn more.

New radio stations

Seattle University Radio / KSUB / 102.1 FM (First Hill/Capitol Hill/Central District)

 

Voice of Vashon / KVSH / 101.9 FM (Vashon Island)

 

UWave Radio at UW Bothell / no call letters yet / 104.9 FM (Bothell)

 

OneAmerica / no call letters yet / 106.5 FM (SeaTac)

 

Make.Shift / no call letters yet / 94.9 FM (Bellingham)

 

Earth On-the-Air Independent Media (University District)

 

Fulcrum Community Communications (NW Seattle)

Hollow Earth Radio (Central District)

 

Sand Point Arts & Cultural Exchange (Magnuson Park)

 

SouthEast E­ffective Development’s Rainier Valley Radio (Rainier Valley)

 

Sustainable Bainbridge (Bainbridge Island)

 

South Seattle Emerald (Skyway)

 

KMIH Booster Club (Mercer Island)

 

Fab-5 (Tacoma)

 

Radio Duvall (Duvall)

 

 

Making Your Talent Feel Appreciated

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CO30Guest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

A few years ago, when we were producing one of our first independent comedy club shows we were asked by a comic performing on my show, “So since you’re charging a cover how much am I making for my set?” At that time we were so ignorant to the business of stand-up comedy, we had no idea what they were talking about. But after speaking with some veteran comics whose opinions we greatly respected, we came to learn that the common rule of thumb with comedy shows is: if you charge a cover, you SHOULD pay your talent. Of course there are some show producers that don’t follow that rule and some comics don’t expect to get paid for every bit of stage-time. This is because stage-time and money are both valuable to a working stand-up comic. When we ran our “Comedy Outliers” show without a cover, there was never any expectation to pay our comics with anything besides a free beer and a sincere “thank you” for their time and talent. The only comic we would pay during that time was the headliner as they were usually a highly regarded comic who had several credits and added a certain amount of hype to help build the “Comedy Outliers” brand. We would pay for these comics out of pocket, which became expensive after nearly two years of being an entirely free show.

One of the main reasons we began charging a cover (we try to keep it as affordable as possible btw, use discount code “Summer” for $5 tickets) was because we wanted to be able to pay ALL of our performing comics. Another reason was to build the brand through better podcast equipment and merchandise, but we can only continue to produce great shows and content if we have exceptional talent. By creating a budget as producers and knowing our limits in what we can pay for talent has forced us to produce a much tighter show that provides a high quality experience for our audience. It is important to remember as producers that your talent needs to feel like their time and talent is being appreciated. When we were just a free bar show, the performing comics were just happy to be in front of a great crowd that was both diverse and energetic. Now we can offer that pay them for their time that they could’ve spent at another show. This has helped us build a stronger relationship with the comedy community in NYC that we love so dearly. They are always appreciative of the gesture and that’s a great feeling to have as a show producer. Keep that in mind when you produce your new show…spread the wealth!

Comedy Outliers’ next show is at Brick NYC (22 Warren Street) on Saturday, July 26th at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Pay only $5 for advanced tickets if you use the discount code “Summer” for $5 tickets! You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website or by listening to their weekly podcast.

 

130 Big Apple Kids Learn Urban Farming via $2500 Gift

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City Growers Urban Farming BenefitThanks to City Growers, goodwill (and good food) is sprouting up on rooftops across the Big Apple. Since 2011, City Growers has brought more than 10,000 urban kids to rooftop farms for educational excursions and workshops. We love their mission to teach families nutrition and urban farming techniques.

Last Saturday, Brown Paper Tickets donated $2,500 to City Growers at their annual rooftop dinner benefit. The feast served fresh food from Brooklyn Grange, the popular rooftop farm and venue at which City Growers calls home. With these funds, 130 kids from low-income New York City communities will be able to attend a 6-week City Growers’ program.

From hens to honeybees, to compost and cultivation, learning opportunities abound at these amazing farms in the sky. Kids from all 5 boroughs gain a hands-on experience with nature that might otherwise be difficult given their city roots. Children, plants and nonprofits City Growers Farm to Table Benefitall enrich local communities. Brown Paper Tickets is honored to open our New York City office this summer in the same neighborhood as City Growers.

Want to support urban farming kids programs? City Growers launched a capital campaign to raise funds. You can help City Growers engage the communities that need them most. Your contribution could send a kid on a memorable field trip to the farm or build a bee hive (with bees). If you’re based in New York, consider volunteering or visit the farm for a workshop during free family farm days.

California Roller Derby Blood Drives Expect Record Crowds

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Blood. Skates. Cookies. Community. Lives. Brown Paper Tickets and Red Cross team up with 8 roller derby leagues in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for the 2nd annual blood drive to save lives, rally the community and make it fun to tap your veins. Dates span August 9 to October 18, 2014.

bay-area-roller-derbyIn its first year, “Make ‘em Bleed” 2013 roller derby blood drives attracted record crowds (more than any other non-derby blood drive) and enough donations to save 660 lives. This year, local roller derby athletes will offer autographs, photo opportunities, T-shirts, roller skate cookies, buttons and temporary tattoos to anyone who donates blood.

“Summer blood drives are critical to maintaining a healthy community blood supply,” says Hanna Malak of American Red Cross. “A single donation can help save multiple lives.”

“Donating blood is a generous and selfless act, so by making it fun, we hope more people will come out to donate,” says Silver Foxxy, PR manager for B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls.

“We hope to double the number of lives saved this year,“ said Jerry Seltzer, Sonoma-based son of the inventor of roller derby, former commissioner for the sport, former board member for the American Red Cross of California and current outreach representative with Brown Paper Tickets. Seltzer also contributes to the Brown Paper Tickets Doer Program, an advocacy group that offers free assistance and support to derby leagues across the globe. “Just like every roller derby league in the world, Brown Paper Tickets has a community service mission.”

american-red-crossSchedule an appointment to donate by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: DERBY. Walk-ups are also welcome to donate at any of these eight Greater Bay Area roller derby blood drives:

Saturday, Aug. 9 (Antioch)
Join the Undead Bettys from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at the Antioch Sports Center, 1210 Sunset Dr.

Friday, Aug. 15 (Livermore)
Join the Quad City Derby Bombshells from 1-7 p.m. at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 23 (Redwood City)
Join the Peninsula Roller Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at the Redwood Roller Rink, 1303 Main St.

Friday, Aug. 29 (Santa Cruz)
Join the Santa Cruz Derby Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus in the parking lot at Whole Foods, 911 Soquel Ave.

Saturday, Sept. 6 (San Jose)
Join the Silicon Valley Roller Girls from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Campbell United Methodist Church 1675 Winchester Blvd.

Saturday, Sept. 20 (Hollister)
Join the Faultline Derby Devilz from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at 580 Tres Pinos Rd.

Saturday, Sept. 20 (San Francisco)
Join the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church, 495 9th Ave.

Saturday Sept. 20 (Santa Rosa)
Join the Sonoma County Roller Derby from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus, parked at 1351 Maple Ave.

Saturday, Oct. 18 (Rohnert Park)
Join the Resurrection Derby Girls from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked in front of Cal Skate, 6100 Commerce Blvd.

Land of the Tease: Home of Burlesque

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burlesque, fireworks, July 4th, patriotic, AmericaI know that technically, Europe is the historical home of burlesque. The term first appeared in 17th century Italian, French and British opera and literature. However, the modern definition of burlesque which provides the inspiration for the current revival has its roots in the burlesque houses of New Orleans, New York and Las Vegas, right here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A.

Therefore,  it seems fitting, as we approach the most patriotic of American holidays, that so many of our burlesque producers are paying tribute with 4th of July shows.

Today, we feature some of our favorite 4th of July shows along with quotes from the performers themselves on what audiences can expect. Sure, fireworks are great, but I think these shows will get your blood pumping as well. Nice thing is, most of these shows happen on Saturday, July 5th so you can enjoy a nice wholesome family Fourth on Friday and indulge your wild side on Saturday. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me!

Friday, July 4th

THE FOUNDING FOLLIES! An Evening of Explosive IndependencePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania   Come watch as Broad St. Burlesque & company pay tribute to the greatest country in the universe the only way they know how- with glamour, glitter, and acts of undress! Broad St. Burlies’ Hayley Jane and Liberty Rose said: “To us, Philadelphia is the home of independence and no national holiday cultivates community with such vigor as 4th of July…As Philadelphia’s tag team champions of burlesque, we could think of no greater way to honor our city, our country and our freedom than to dress up like presidents and go off like fireworks!” Can’t get more patriotic than that.

Saturday, July 5th

Cyn Factory Saves America at the Bier BaronWashington D.C.  Here’s what Mary Cyn and Sarah Tops of Cyn Factory have to say about their upcoming show: “Every city has a holiday that it “owns”. Chicago has St. Patrick’s Day, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, New York and San Francisco share Halloween. 4th of July is DC’s holiday and we’re really excited to be part of the celebration. The neo-burlesque that Cyn Factory presents is especially American because, while there is burlesque all over the world, it tends to be mostly classic and dance-based. What Cyn Factory presents is largely story-based and influenced by theatre and performance art, creating an American spin on a worldwide art.”

FireworksBeacon, New York  Fireworks producer Dr. Lucky had this to say about why Independence Day and burlesque are such natural bedfellows: “Independence is a great way to describe what so many performers and fans alike love about burlesque: independent women (and some men) creating their own personas, acts and costumes and really going for it on stage. It’s what America is built on: independence and individual free will.” Amen to that Dr. Lucky!

Black Widow Burlesque presents: America EXPOSED! – Politically Incorrect!Austin, Texas  Black Widow Burlesque‘s Ginger Snaps had this to say about their annual 4th of July production: “Black Widow Burlesque has a tradition of celebrating 4th of July with our America Exposed! shows. This year we get to take a more critical and comedic eye at American life and culture! This will include anything from political and historical figures to scandals and pop culture”

Pasties for Patriots Burlesque ShowAustin, Texas  Another incredible Austin-based troupe, the Bat City Bombshells will show you their best Americana-inspired bump and grind at this show at the incredible 6th Street venue The Parish. Bat City Bombshell Sherry Bomb says: “The Bat City Bombshells have celebrated the 4th of July for the past three years with our Pasties for Patriots Show, it is our time to really celebrate everything Americana. Burlesque is ingrained in American history, so it is only fitting for this time of year to be popular in the burlesque community. Whether it is satirical political humor, classic pin-up or a salute to the troupes, a wide array of performances can be found for this patriotic holiday!

Be sure to pick up tickets to these great shows as they’re going fast and, from all of us at Brown Paper Ticket, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!

Image courtesy of Vintage Gal’s Tumblr page.

Comedy Outliers: A Million Ways to Deal With Venue Changes!

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CO29final-normal fontGuest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of  Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

We Heard You.

We Listened.

We’re Back.

Those were the first three sentences in our first email we sent to our mailing list after the third showcase we held at Webster Hall. Based on the feedback we had received from our followers and our overall experience as producers, we came to the conclusion that our partnership with Webster Hall just wasn’t a good fit. The most difficult part about this revelation was that we had told our audience that it was essentially our new home AND we would now be changing the location of our show for the third time in less than six months. After a successful run of two years at Lilly O’Briens, producing a show for Yelp NYC and getting several guest appearances on popular podcasts we were hitting some rather rough speed bumps when it came to securing a new venue.

These things can happen and while it’s most important not to panic, there’s a few other things you should keep in mind as well:

1. Be optimistic and come up with an action plan! We followed up with our audience to let them know that we understood that they were not happy with Webster Hall as a venue and that we took their views to heart. We also knew that people appreciated our previous location at Lilly O’Briens in downtown Manhattan; a venue that was so random that they felt cool to be in the know about this unique event that took place every month. In the search for a new home, we knew we had to find a venue with owners that would not only be supportive of live comedy but would give us the ability to run the show the way it had always been successful.

2. Keep engaged with your audience! Using our weekly podcast and Twitter account to keep in touch with our following was crucial in making sure they knew about the changes we were making.

3. Don’t be afraid to admit when you made a mistake. We were initially very excited and proud of the opportunity to produce shows at Webster Hall. However after our first two shows, we realized that the venue didn’t quite understand what we were doing with “Comedy Outliers”. Our audience weren’t thrilled with the environment and as producers we found ourselves lost among the many other shows that the venue hosted. The decision to part ways with Webster Hall wasn’t difficult even though we didn’t have a secured new venue at that moment. We had to do what was best for our brand.

4. Be excited about the new changes! Finding a new venue required a lot of emails, phone calls with various managers and hitting the pavement to scope out potential venues. Finding the Wooly was a great success! Not only is it located only a few blocks from our old stomping grounds in downtown Manhattan but the manager is a strong advocate for the performing arts and really gets what “Outliers” is about. In our recent advertisements and promotion we have vigilantly expressed our excite about this “reboot” to our show with the new venue.

As a producer, there will be many successes peppered with a few setbacks. You have to be willing to adapt and show your audience that you are humbled by the experience. If they see that you’re doing your best to give them a great experience, they’ll come back and support you!

 Comedy Outliers’ next show is at The Wooly (11 Barclay Street) on Saturday, June 28th  at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Buy $5 advance tickets if you enter code: “BPT”!  You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.