The Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival showcases an eclectic mix of new and alternative performances in the Welsh capital city, with shows, workshops, socials and competitions during its run. We caught up with Isabelle Paige, Partnerships Manager, to discover how TicketSource helps to make the festival happen.
How did the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival get started?
There were ten of us who knew each other in the local theatre scene and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Cardiff had a fringe festival?” We had experience of doing Edinburgh, but we had nowhere to show fringe work locally. We organised the first festival in 2016 and it went down much better than we expected it to, and so we’ve grown it year on year.
Why do you use TicketSource?
We’ve used TicketSource since 2017. One of founders uses TicketSource for a lot of their events, as any theatre you put on in a non-theatre space won’t have any infrastructure for a box office. We needed an adaptable system that could handle tickets for shows in venues like cafés and bars, and even the basement of an antiques market. Also, a major ethos of the festival is to make it financially viable for companies and audiences – the festival policy is that no tickets costs more than £10, to make it affordable to come. Because TicketSource is free to use, we don’t have to charge companies any fees to participate in the festival and we can keep ticket costs down.
How does TicketSource help you run the festival?
When it comes to managing the audience at the door, we can log in on our phones, on the app or through the website, and get a list of people who’ve booked. We can tick them off as they come in, and handle door sales alongside that. It’s a really easy way of doing it, as you don’t have to worry about tickets. Some people do print off their e-ticket, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t. Another really good thing about the TicketSource system is that we can book comps for people. Companies might ask us to reserve two tickets for industry people coming to see a show. And that’s really useful, particularly in small venues, where it is quite possible that you’ll sell out. You don’t want those people to turn up, and then not get in.
Would you recommend TicketSource to other event organisers?
TicketSource have been amazing – really approachable and supportive the whole way through. Nothing is too much trouble. In our first year with TicketSource, I remember setting up all the events on the system, which was a massive job because there were loads of shows. I didn’t appreciate how complicated it was going to be, but the customer service from TicketSource was really helpful. They talked us through lots of issues we hadn’t thought about, like content warnings and latecomer policies. It was so helpful in making us a better and more professional organisation.
For more information about the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival, visit www.cardifffringetheatrefestival.co.uk