What is a bringer gig?
This is an explanation of the comedy term 'bringer'
A ‘bringer’ is a comedy show where the comedians have to bring at least one audience member to perform. It’s a somewhat shady practice because the venue is relying on the comics to provide both the entertainment and the audience, for free. The venue doesn’t have to bother with promotion to fill the room and sell a load of drink and food. The audience is often hit up for donations on the way out too. Of course most of the acts don’t get paid at all (except maybe the MC and headliners).
By extension, the friend or fellow comic you rope into coming to watch you at a bringer night is also known as your ‘bringer’, although technically they’re your ‘bringee’.
In America, bringers have a bad reputation, but for some reason they’re standard in the London open mic comedy scene. Now I guess it’s a tough sell to get people to come and watch a bunch of inexperienced stand-ups who might not be very funny, so I see why promoters and venues like this model.
I am trying not to do too many bringers, but I will still need to do them for a while. Remember that if you agree to come to a bringer night to see your comedian friend but drop out at the last minute, you’re putting them into an awkward situation where they have to scramble to find someone else…
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