Underground Comedy Club

UCC presents Joe Bor: The day after

Ok, that was bad, really bad. Holy shit, if you wanted a lesson in losing money in style, that was it.

Underground comedy Club Logo copy.

Sadly I already had the feeling it was not going to go well about 3 weeks before the event! Why the hell did I not pull the plug! Why the hell did I not realise that a venue with no tube links would honestly work!

It’s funny when u think about it… after you let the red mist settle.

Let’s think with a clear calm head here. I made more chums on the pro comedy circuit, learnt lots of lessons about everything including marketing, preparing and trying to run before I can walk.

The bottom line is a new comedy venue needs to be run on a bootstrap style of business. All comics to be freebies or acts of kindness, ticket prices low, venue location in areas pumped with people, either tourists or where people work who do not want to go home just yet.

Advertising needs to be focused on social media. Interact with people daily. Flyers cheapest possible, and handed out 2 weeks before, 1 week before and 2 days before. Local radio announcements are brilliant though can only be free. Venue must be free and have all their own equipment.

If you get all that right after 12 months a following will start. After 2 years when you have sell outs every week it’s time to move to a bigger venue.

I fear I tried to create a professional product. I once again aimed to create the best product on the market, and yes if I had kept going and kept pouring money into the events, the audience number would increase. Though at some point you have to think.“Is this what I want to be doing? … Is this how I want to use my comedy hours each week, each month?”

I quickly added up the hours spent on all the behind the scenes stuff I do everyday, every night: staying up late putting that important piece of info into place, or emailing that all important contact with the next event details. And between you and me the amount of hours spend was more than 40 hours a week! Holy shit. I am doing a full time job and I’m paying cash for the privilege!

After a quick re-group, I made the obvious realisation that I actually want to perform instead of sell tickets. So I have decided that there Underground Comedy Club is closing down. Well, at least hibernating until 2016 – 2017.

Though I have just realised we have 1 more event we have to do! I have a group booking for 22 peeps in Notting Hill. I haven’t got the heart the cancel it, so it’ll be the send off event and I supposed it should be where it started. It’ll be exactly 12 months since we opening our doors and to be honest that opening night felt like yesterday.

Wow doesn’t time fly when your on a seriously steep learning curve. Ha ha.


Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.


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