Holy crap! Where in the name of all that glitters did 2017 go?! It feels like only yesterday that Joe left Yard Digital to join “Team Civil” full time. But here we are, 12 months on, wrapping up our first full year of Civil Disobedience – and what a year it’s been!
We’re definitely ready to swing into January like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball and smash 2018, but first we want to take a moment to celebrate a few of this year’s highlights.
New York, New York…
We kicked off 2017 with a trip to New York in January to co-produce a Big Apple run of Joe’s NYC Bar. There are definitely worse ways to start the year, and what an amazing first official Civil Disobedience gig for Joe!
Not even the pervasive smell of rotting flesh on our floor of the West Village hotel we stayed in could dampen our spirits, and Joe’s NYC Bar hit it out of the park with a host of sell-out shows. In fact, it did so well that it attracted interest from a couple of investment producers who are now funding a longer New York residency for Joe’s NYC Bar, starting this coming January. Exciting times!
Our next big job in 2017 was the St Andrews Fashion Festival (STAFF), in February. We were hired to create, commission, and produce the STAFF runway show, featuring local retail collections as well as a professional fashion designer, a troupe of gorgeous models, and live music by the brilliant Carla Lippis and Geoff Crowther.
Models, fashion, and Carla’s jaw-dropping vocals…what’s not to love?
From Orlando with love…
In May we jetted off to the Orlando Fringe to scout talent (and by “scout talent” we mean “have lunch with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Ginger Minge”), plus support our friends and colleagues who were taking part in the festival – including the Joe’s NYC Bar team, Peter Michael Marino, Modern Robot, and Dandy Darkly.
We also managed to fit in a couple of visits to legendary “gay resort” Parliament House; a somewhat rundown motel in the city outskirts, complete with a drag-tastic nightclub and a pool that’s seen more semen than you can shake a stick at. (Joe still went in.)
That old Fringe magic…
Not surprising, our biggest project by far this year was the Edinburgh Fringe. At the last count, we estimated that we worked at least 45 consecutive (mostly 12-hour) days July-August.
But it was totally worth it. We had an absolute blast, and it honestly felt like a privilege to get to work with so many amazing artists and arts industry people to deliver an exciting programme of world-class shows. Check out some of our EdFringe 17 stats:
£442,289 estimated economic impact*
£165,297 generated in ticket sales
17,556 tickets sold
64.5 average audience size
64 artists in the programme
25 four- and five-star reviews
24 unique job opportunities created
23 venue technicians engaged
16 arts management interns recruited
14 shows in the programme
6 venues (incl. Assembly, Underbelly, Summerhall, and Gilded Balloon)
3 full-time members of staff in August 2017
3 street team members working full-time during the Fringe
1 Best Cabaret Performance award, Scottish Sun Fringe Gongs (Hans: Mein Camp)
Not too shabby for a small production company with less than two years of trading to its name, eh?
Thank you, 2017…
Overall, 2017 has been a fantastic year for Civil Disobedience.
Sure, it’s been hard work and we’ve had our fair share of teething problems. We’d be lying if we said there weren’t times when we sweated like Josef Fritzl on MTV Cribs over cash flow issues, creative ideas, talent cancellations, and expectation management.
But even with a few hitches along the way, we’ve had a truly brilliant year working with lots of fabulous people to produce an incredible portfolio of awesome work, and 2017 will always hold a very special place in our hearts as the year we fulfilled our longtime dream of running an arts production company together.
We want to say a huge thank you to all the superbly talented artists, friends, and colleagues we’ve had the pleasure of working with this year, and wish you all the best for 2018! Here’s to many more productive and fun collaborations going forward.
We’re already working on a number of exciting projects for 2018/19, including the ‘Persistent & Nasty series, kicking off in January; Leyla Josephine’s next venture; Sasquatch alumni Mari Moriarty’s brand new performance piece; Dandy Darkly’s Edinburgh Fringe comeback; and the fabulously camp ‘Bugle Boys – A Salute to the Andrews Sisters’.
We’ll be posting more soon about all of the above as well as other upcoming projects, so watch this space.
Until then, happy New Year, everyone – have a healthy, successful, and fun 2018!
Barry & Joe xx
*BoP Impact Assessment Framework calculation based on total Civil Disobedience ticket sales. Source: Edinburgh Festivals 2015 Impact Study – Technical Report (July 2016)