So the first in these blog posts centers on Connie Dussl - who is undertaking the reins as the Chair of the process. The first decision made has to be the VENUE. The Phoenix was a great fit for us last year, but their policy has changed from a day-to-day rental to a week rental fee, which was something that TCCAN could neither afford or commit to. Obstacle #1 was seeking out other venues that fit our calendar. TCCAN has made a strategic choice to have the annual Fest coincide with our Fall membership renewal. It makes perfect sense to showcase our members right as we are reaching out to other prospective members to join our ranks. Last year was held the first weekend in Oct. This year, scheduling has pushed it a week earlier in the final stretch of Sept.
Connie quotes "we made up a list of desired attributes. Then as we looked at each venue, we made lists of the pros and cons of each place." It is important for our cabaret audience to find a spot with an intimate setting. There are several small theater & music spaces in town, but this intimate component is lacking in most. Then - learning from last year, she came up with a checklist of haves and have-nots.
So, in looking for a location for our 2nd Annual TCCAN Cabaret Fest
- Was there an acoustic piano and was it kept in tune?
- Was there a sound system, and, if so, a sound man?
- What was the lighting like?
- Was there food and drink available? How many patrons could we accommodate?
- Could all ages attend?
- Could we hold workshops earlier in the day?
- What was parking or accessibility like?
- And ultimately, what was the rental or gate?
This year, we chose Bryant Lake Bowl because it had the majority of the assets we were seeking. TCCAN has used BLB for our former showcases and several members have produced their own solo shows there. So there is a partnership with ground work already laid. Reaching out to Minneapolis audiences is also a key element in the choice. BLB is a strong fit in terms of the marketing edge they are able to offer up with the rental package and press contacts that we have not been able to tackle.
As final details are being ironed out, we anticipate a Fest that will surpass our impact from last year. Please check out links on our Facebook page, website and the Bryant Lake Bowl link to purchase tickets.