Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Next Year's Tour... A Map And Some Gaps.

The feedback on episode 5 of Modern Life Is Goodish was incredible last night. There are things I'd like to mention (at one point a lot of people paused and ran to their kitchen) but if I went into any detail about it here I think I'd end up generating spoilers for people who will (hopefully) be watching the repeat tonight at 10.40pm... so maybe I'll save that for another day.

I am getting a lot of questions about my next tour, so I figured it was worth answering some of the frequently asked questions here.

It's become very apparent that a list of venues in date order isn't always the best way for people to search for their local gig. I've had a lot of emails from people who've scrolled through and not seen a gig local to them, even though there is one. Often in their home town. But even so, I figured a map might be more helpful for some. Each star represents a show on the tour. You can scroll the map around, zoom in if you like and, if you click the top right hand corner, you can go full screen too.

It does become obvious that there are a few gap, the furthest into the south west that the tour goes is Yeovil and, while there's a show in Aberdeen, there's nothing else in Scotland.

These gaps are the source of the most frequently asked questions I'm asked... with people asking me if I'd consider doing a show here or why there isn't a show there. Often people ask these questions with an attitude that suggests I have deliberately sought to avoid the area out of disdain for the locality. Which seems to fundamentally misunderstand what a tour involves. My experience of every town I play is lovely. I often don't find out what the town is like - I don't spend my time there sitting in the town centre by the bins - I spend my time there in a venue. The people I meet in a town are the people who wanted to come and see my show. And that makes everywhere lovely. Touring is a very affirming experience.

But there is an explanation for the gaps. The reason is that I don't book venues, they book me. Sometimes it might be that they tried to book the show but didn't have dates that worked. Sometimes it might be that a venue didn't have the right technical set up for one of my shows. And sometimes it might be that they didn't want the show or thought it wouldn't sell. Venues tend to know their own market so I have complete respect for that.

But that's the reason. If I'm playing somewhere it's because they booked me. If I'm not... it's because they didn't. Like most performers, I'm a gun for hire... I go where the work is.

There are two places on this particular tour where venues did want the show but it hasn't worked out for another reason. Those venues are in Glasgow and in Oxford. In both cases I've said no to doing the show there because the venues concerned charge punters booking fees etc that I think are unreasonable

They're both venues that are run by The Ambassadors Theatre Group. At every other venue on the tour, I think the booking fees are between 50p and £3 but somehow in an ATG venue it works out at an extra £6 to £9 per ticket.

I'm not the only performer to take exception to them. As you can see here, Sarah Millican refuses to play ATG venues while this story tells you how Jason Manford felt when he discovered the cost of his tickets in Oxford.

I am sorry not to be playing those venues. But it's a simple choice to make. I don't think the charges are fair. So I don't want to condone them by playing there. I had been trying to avoid making a stink about it - and would still like to do so - but I've been asked the question about Glasgow so many times in the last ten days and always answered honestly and so it makes sense to put something here that I can point people towards when next I'm asked. 

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said Dave, see you in StAlbans!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, well said! See you in Truro again when I can hopefully convince my local theater to have you again :)

Anonymous said...

See you in Winchester!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing you again in Harrogate.

Matthew Saunders said...

Amazing, as usual, Dave. If you need a practice audience, you know Fareham will always welcome you. You got me with the Smarties in the Powerballs, fell for it completely, you're a truly great comedian and that was such a lovely venue. So, what's the next challenge? Mongol Rally with a camera and an epic story to tell? Back to Independence - unchained? Looking forward to the tour!!

Rosie Stables said...

Glad I don't live in Glasgow or Oxford! Good for you , Dave. Looking forward to seeing you again in Sheffield :-)

Nick said...

Which venue in Oxford is the overcharger?

My guess is its the Apollo/New Theatre, which would be ironic as I boycot that theatre for other reasons (seats are too close together and I'm too tall to fit in them without discomfort.) Even though it's only a short bus journey away I will usually avoid it and instead head out to Reading or Basingstoke...

Cheers

Nick

Anonymous said...

Nick - it is the New Theatre - if you click on the link Manford is discussing it.
I am from Oxfordshire and will catch Dave in Reading or Wycombe instead

Anonymous said...

Nick - it is the New Theatre - if you click on the link Manford is discussing it.
I am from Oxfordshire and will catch Dave in Reading or Wycombe instead

David Young said...

I didn't realise theatres are the ones that do the booking. Good to see someone with morals in this day and age.

Simon Ashton said...

Already got my tickets for Durham in my hand, how efficient are the Gala Theatre! Front Row tickets as well

Adi said...

ATG and G1 are totally ruining Glasgow with their greedy ways. Costs me an absolute fortune to see anything :(

DisgruntledGoat said...

If venues book you... how do they know when you're available? Surely you have to contact them first to let them know you are doing a tour?

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Gorman, I shall not be seeing you in either Oxford or Glasgow I shall go to Nottingham instead. (That is where I live)

Dave Gorman said...

@DisgruntledGoat: yes. I don't personally - that's what agents are for - but yes, phones are bashed, offers are made, etc etc etc.

Andrew Belham said...

I think kicking Plymouth pavilions arse until they book you may become my sole mission in life...

Smylers said...

Anybody wondering specifically why
Leeds isn't on the tour: The Varieties did book him, but it turns out their stage isn't big enough for Dave's massive screen.

Dave Gorman said...

@Smylers it isn't even that it's a particularly massive screen. It's that the City Varieties (always one of my favourite venues, btw) has a particularly shallow stage. There's simply no way of putting the show in there without approximately 40% of the audience being unable to see all of the screen and as I am, essentially a double act with my screen - it isn't a brief interlude in the show, it is the show - that means not being able to get the show.

biginabox said...

"They're both venues that are run by The Ambassadors Theatre Group"
At last.. Don't get me started on Ambassadors.
Their takeover of regional venues has slashed diversity, and exiled many small independent touring companies.
The main beneficiaries of their pennypinching being the large government sponsored companies, the mishmash glam-nights, like the Flatley Follies; tribute bands, and I'm afraid, the stand-up industry, which is usually cheap to stage.
So any boycott is welcome.
Their defence is that htey are rescuing many threatened theatres from decay. But there are many British theatres which have not become bingohalls and car parks, because of imaginative and dedicated management.
The Roses in Tewkesbury, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Noooo! I live in Glasgow! If anyone is in Glasgow, book Dave in a Town Hall or school with a projector or one of my mates has a pop up projector screen in their living room. Come on, get Dave into Glasgow!

Robert Williams said...

well said Dave, love the new series btw

Karl Straw said...

Have you forgotten Exeter, it's further west than Yeovil and I know that you decided tyo have a baby rather than come to us in September but the email you sent say you are still coming? Has this changed?

Dave Gorman said...

Hi Karl,

If there's some confusion it may be because your comment was left in October 2015 and the blog post is from October 2013.

There is an upcoming show in Exeter, yes. It doesn't show up on the map in the blog post because that was about the 2014 dates. You might have seen me link to this blog post recently because some of the issues it discusses are still relevant and I get asked about Glasgow and Oxford all the time!

Karl Straw said...

Yeah, I realised afterwards. Hope the new addition is doing well. We have a new arrival on Tuesday so We'll need sitters by January.