If you want a gig at the Comedy Balloon, here’s (almost) all you need to know.
1: Send me an email with the following info:-
Full name and / or stage name. You’d be surprised how often I get emails saying things like:
“i want to do a gig at the balloon, get in touch thanks”
from an email account with a ridiculous name like comedy_warriorXXL7453@guesswhoiam.com
This, naturally, looks ridiculous on the listings and is a nightmare for the MC when they announce you on the night.
Let me know if you’ve gigged before and if so, for how long. This helps keep a nice mix of new and more experienced acts. There’s seriously no point in blagging about how long you’ve been going. We’ve always been new act friendly at the Balloon, and inexperience isn’t a barrier to getting a gig, so be honest!
2: Your email will then be filed in a folder called “Enquiries”.
The next time I’m doing a round of bookings I’ll send you a few dates, and pencil your name in for those dates in my calander. I’ll go through the enquiries folder every few days, and when most of the weeks are filled, I’ll stop offering gigs until people get back to me.
3: When you’ve picked one of the dates I’ve sent, I’ll then send a confirmation email, book you in properley and free up the alternative dates I sent you to offer to the next act/s in the queue.
4: A couple of days before the gig, I’ll send you a confirmation email to double check that everything’s still on.
5: You arrive at the Ape And Apple, take to the stage and then await a veritable cavalcade of comedy agents to book you in at the o2*
Obviously, this process takes time, so if you’ve emailed me and don’t hear back for a few weeks – DON’T WORRY! I spend an couple of hours on Monday nights sending out the mailing list and confirming acts for that week’s show – when that’s done, I’ll do a round of emails to enquiries, and then about once a month I’ll try and hammer through as many as possible to try and clear the backlog.
Here’s a few things that make my life easier:-
If you have any special technical requirements – CD cues, guitar / keyboards, etc. please let me know so I can make appropriate arrangements.
In terms of CD cues, feel free to email me any tracks / sound effects at least 2 days before the gig. I can use most standard audio formats (.wav, .aiff, .mp3, m4a, .wma, etc.) and it’s often more effective for me to put these on my laptop rather than use my CDJ as it saves time having to swap CDs over and helps the night run smoothly.
Just in case you have any access issues it’s worth noting the night is held upstairs. There are two stairwells. One is a single set of about 42 steps and the other is broken down into 3 sets of smaller steps. Should you require wheelchair access this can be arranged, but I will need to know in advance.
One question I’m asked fairly regularly is whether or not we accept sketch or character comedy. The answer is yes. While we’re mainly straight-up the Comedy Balloon is happy to accomodate live comedy in all it’s myriad forms.
So, there you go. That’s how the process works, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.
*This is an outrageous lie. Sorry!