16 September 2010

Idea for a New Poetry Night

This is hot from my imagination and I want your feedback so please read and post your honest comment(s).

I am going to put on a night of performance poetry (Held for 1 night in Taunton and 1 night in Bristol) with the following principles...

  1. Entertaining the audience
  2. Giving the audience value for money
  3. Payment each performer for their hard work

And I am going to achieve this as follows...

Entrance to the event will be £4. In return for this you get 2 hours of solid entertainment.  A cut of the takings will pay for hire of the venue and the rest will be divided equally between the performers.  This fact will be clearly advertised on the flyers so that punters know exactly where their hard earned money is going when they buy entrance to the gig.

The event is BYOB (bring your own booze). Holding the event in a venue that allows BYOB will break the link between amount of drink consumed and a venue's profit.  No punter wants to be glared at by a member of the bar staff every time they have an empty glass in front of them.  At my event, if you want to pay your entrance fee and sip bottled tap water all evening it's fine, you've paid your way and there's no pressure to purchase.  Alternatively, if you do fancy drinking a couple of lagers it's only going to cost you supermarket prices and a quick trip to a shop before the gig.  When you start looking for venues that do not have bars the list is huge:  Community centres, town halls, municipal buildings, function rooms, churches, sports halls.

Survival of the fittest by democratic vote. Each audience member will be given a voting slip with the names of each performer written on it.  I will ask the audience to place a tick against the poets who they found entertaining and they would like to see again.  The votes will be used to decide who gets booked again for future events.

The definition of entertaining (a.k.a. my definition of entertaining) in this instance is that the audience must be given a wide variety of humour, serious thought, social commentary but above all must be left feeling awake and emotionally positive. The performers must definitely be “Performing” their words not just reading them i.e. Variety of expression, tone of voice, speed, pace, body language.

I have a growing list of very talented performance poets from the South West who are keen to perform at this event.  But I need to know if I can get an audience of 30 people and a team of volunteers willing to help promote.  30 is the minimum amount we need to make this work.  Would you buy a ticket?  Please comment now.

[UPDATE (20 September 2010):  Thank you for all your comments.  Since this blog post was written I have decided to go ahead with the event.  See full details here.]