Home > acting, living, money, travel > A First Fringe Tour: By The Numbers

A First Fringe Tour: By The Numbers

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A First Fringe Tour by the Numbers: For my 2013 inaugural tour of The Hatter.

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London audience numbers:
# of performances: 10
# of comps to media in audience: 4
# of comp VIP tickets: 13
# of comp Trouper tickets recorded: 1
# of comp performer tickets: 16
# of paying audience members: 54
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 5.4
# of audience members (total): 87
Average size of audience: 8.7
# of shows without a single paying audience member: 3
# of advance tickets sold: 0
Average ticket price paid to me: 9.94$

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INVISIBLE!

Ottawa audience numbers:
Number of performances: 9
# of comps to media in audience: 4
# of comp VIP tickets: 2
# of comp Promo tickets: 2
# of comp volunteer tickets: 9
# of comp performer tickets: 3
# of advance tickets sold: 9
# of paying audience members: 81
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 9
# of audience members (total): 101
Average size of audience: 11.2
Average ticket price paid to me: 9.35$

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INVISIBLE!

Toronto audience numbers:
Number of performances: 7
# of comps to media in audience: 8
# of comps (poor friend): 1
# of comp volunteer tickets: 11
# of comp 10x10x10 tickets: 33
# of comp VIP tickets: 8
# of advance tickets sold: 23
# of paying audience members: 90
Average # of paying audience members: 12.86
# of audience members (total): 151
Average size of audience: 21.57
Average size of audience, not including 10x10x10: 16.71
Average ticket price paid to me: 8.92$

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Saskatoon audience numbers:
Number of performances: 7
# of comps to media in audience: 3
# of comp staff tickets: 1
# of comp company (performers with password) tickets: 27
# of comp volunteer tickets: 20
# of comp promo tickets (???): 16
# of advance tickets sold: 15
# of paying audience members: 118
Average # of paying audience members: 16.86
# of audience members (total): 195
Average size of audience: 27.86
Average ticket price paid to me: 11.20$

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EXPENSES:

Failed Fringe application fees:
Edmonton: -36.75$
CAFF lottery: -25$
Winnipeg: -20$
Vancouver: -50$
Nanaimo: -25$
Victoria: -28$
San Francisco: -35.60$
Total: -220.35$

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Pre-tour expenses:
Photographer for promo shots: ~-100$
New hat: ~-25$
Hot water urn: -68.95$
Pocketwatch: -13.44$
Total: -207.39$

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London Expenses:
Festival fee: -650$
Props/supplies: ~-11.37$
500 Handbills (business cards): -34.47$
25 posters: -20.95$
Stolen bike light (bought for use in London): -20.33$
Beer for my techie: -11.25$
Total: -748.37$

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Ottawa Expenses:
Festival fee: -632.80$
Cider: -6$
Stage Manager: -100$
500 Handbills (business cards): -34.47$
25 posters: -20.95$
Props/supplies/tea: -7.94$
New backpack (other one broke in so many ways): -58.76$
Extremely generous BYOV venue fee: -80$
Gift to billets: ~-15$
Total: -955.92$

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Toronto Expenses:
Application fee: -27.50$
Festival fee: -750.00$
Stage manager: -80$
Props/supplies/tape/tea: -20.41$
Timbits offered at last four performances: -13.56$
Beer: -14.60$
500 Handbills (business cards): -34.47$
25 posters: -20.95$
Weekly transit pass: -38.50$
Total: -999.99$

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Saskatoon Expenses:
Application fee: -30$
Festival fee: -670.00$
Stage manager: -100.00$
Props: -11.03$
1000 Handbills (business cards): -51.41$
25 posters: -20.95$
Beer: -23.50$
Gift to billet/volunteers: -7.74$
Total: -914.63$

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Travel costs to each city:
Plane ticket from Vancouver to London, through family friend: -120$
Suitcase-full-of-props as extra bag on Westjet: -21.00$
Greyhound to Ottawa: -59.33$
Cost to take suitcase-full-of-props on greyhound to Ottawa: -16.95$
Gas money to artist for ride to Toronto: -20$
Transit tokens in Toronto while waiting for Saskatoon: -53$
Greyhound (43 hours) Toronto to Saskatoon: -139.56$
Cost to take suitcase-full-of-props on greyhound to Saskatoon: -15$
Greyhound (25 hours) Saskatoon to Vancouver: -110.78$
Cost to take suitcase-full-of-props on greyhound back to Vancouver: -15.75$
Total: -571.37$

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Expenses back home:
Rent/storage costs in Richmond for 2.5 months = ~550$
Total: -550.00$

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INCOME:

London Income:
Donation: 5$
Ticket sales at door: 532.00$
Average ticket price paid to me: 9.94$
Total: 537.00$

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Ottawa Income:
6 two-for-one ticket sales (5$): 30$
17 five/ten show passes (7$): 119$
9 Advance ticket sales (10$): 90$
40 ticket sales at door (10$): 400$
stage managed a show twice: 30$
Average ticket price paid to me: 9.35$
Total: 787.00$

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Toronto Income:
23 advance ticket sales (9$ to me): 207$
41 ticket sales at door (10$): 410$
3 Five-pack (7.5$): 22.50$
17 ten-pack (7.5$): 127.50$
6 performer (6$): 36$
Average ticket price paid to me: 8.92$
Total: 803.00$

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Saskatoon Income:
Ticket breakdown made very complicated with 2$ deducted from each ticket for administrative fees, plus GST removed from payout on each ticket. (Saskatoon is the only Fringe Festival that does this.)
Donation: 47.75$
Paid by drunks for a photo taken with me: 3$
Payout from festival: 1322.11$
Average ticket price paid to me: 11.20$
Total: 1369.86$

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Other numbers:
Hours on greyhound buses: 8+43+25 = 76 hours.
Food not considered: Grocery/food bill, as it was kept to my usual 200$ per month.
Days away: 71
Homes graciously opened to me to stay in: 5
# of stars in London review (London Free Press): 3 (out of five)
# of stars in Saskatoon review (The StarPhoenix): 4.5 (out of five)

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Total Expenses:
Failed Fringe application fees: -220.35
Pre-tour expenses: -207.39$
London expenses: -748.37$
Ottawa expenses: -955.92$
Toronto expenses: -999.99$
Saskatoon expenses: -914.63$
Travel costs to each city: -571.37$
Expenses back home: -550.00$
Total: -5168.02$

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INVISIBLE!

Total Income:
London income: 537.00$
Ottawa income: 787.00$
Toronto income: 803.00$
Saskatoon income: 1369.86$
Total: 3496.86$

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Cost/Tuition for a two and a half month cross-country adventure: 1671.16$

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The numbers are bit surprising. I’ll put my thoughts/reactions in my next post in a few days. Hope this is useful for some of you out there to see as well! Feel free to leave your feedback/advice/comments below. :)

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Cheers,
Andrew Wade

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  1. September 3, 2013 at 00:27

    Andrew – Thank you for being so candid with your experience. I know that there are a lot of artists for whom this sort of information would be really interesting and helpful.

    • September 3, 2013 at 00:36

      Well please do share wherever it would be helpful. :)

  2. September 3, 2013 at 01:12

    My mind is officially boggled.

    Stage manager – yours or the Fringes’?

    I’m surprised how expensive Saskatoon’s tickets are! Now I know…

    Fascinating post. Thanks muchly for sharing.

    -Rose

    • September 3, 2013 at 18:13

      The stage managers were all local to each festival – either the festival or a friend helped me find them. So the tech rehearsal was the first time any of them had seen the show. :P

      Glad the post was useful for you!

  3. -K.
    September 3, 2013 at 06:49

    Woof. Thank you for sharing this; it gives one some things to think about.

  4. September 3, 2013 at 07:44

    I’m even further inclined to purchase tiny violins in bulk to pass out in line when Fringe volunteers pull out the whole “but-but-but the artists get ALL the money!” donation appeal song-and-dance.

    This is great information. Obviously everyone’s Fringe experiences are different, but I had almost identical numbers in London a few years ago (you don’t really stand a chance there unless you’re local or get lucky with what little press coverage there is to go around.) Lost my shirt in Hamilton (though at least Hamilton is a crap shoot; I just wasn’t a winner). Broke even in Toronto despite good reviews and 3 sellouts. Would’ve broken even in Victoria if I hadn’t had the flight to pay for.

    It’s so much more expensive than people realize, even when you do “well”.

    I’m surprised about Saskatoon. I intended to select Calgary on my CAFF app for next year, but may reconsider. At what point during your run did the review come out, and how much of an audience increase did you see?

    • September 3, 2013 at 18:16

      In Saskatoon I was blessed with ‘winning the publicity lottery’ as another performer put it, and had a big picture in the Arts section of the newspaper a couple of days before the festival opened. The review happened… three or four days into the festival. I’d already had at least two performances… perhaps even three. And I saw a boost of at least twenty or so people for the next show, fifteen for the show after that. (I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me at the moment. :P )

  5. Vick Ko
    September 4, 2013 at 12:22

    Wow, thank you for posting this. And thank you for performing. Obviously it isn’t for the money.

  6. Kula May Ellison
    November 20, 2013 at 15:07

    Hi :D How are you? I would lik to say I am glad I meet you on the “Grey Hound” Going to Saskatoon. I never went to a performance before at the ‘Fringe” You open the the door fo me to this world. Thank You, Your acting is great Awesome WOW. I enjoyed being part of your show . Your writting is very deep touchs th soul, Later , Kula May R Ellison :D

    • November 21, 2013 at 00:51

      Thank you so much! It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, Kula, and I was over-the-moon delighted to see you at the show.

      It’s kind words like these that encourage me to keep creating when it may be easier to just wander through life. So thank you.

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