Keep Just the Tonic Edinburgh Alive!

by Just the Tonic in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 2nd September 2020 we successfully raised £3,252 with 171 supporters in 49 days

Keep Just the Tonic alive and well and able to plan for, programme and deliver a full season of shows in 2021.

by Just the Tonic in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Just the Tonic is a very small and independently run comedy production company, started by myself (Darrell Martin) in 1994. It started as a Sunday night comedy club. By March 2020 this had grown into a well respected mid sized Edfringe venue and a string of Saturday night comedy clubs across the UK. It is still run by myself with the help of a small but dedicated team.

WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE PENNIES

We need to be able to pay our staff when the furlough ends. That is our priority. We need to ensure that we have the team with the right skills and experience still able to carry out the roles to keep going.

We will have liabilities to the VAT man, and HMRC when they come calling in January. 

We have ongoing costs such as storage, internet, insurances and all of the other small niggly things that eat the finances away. 

Our cash flow relies heavily on our clubs throughout the year and Edfringe. We refunded every performer from our 2020 Edfringe season, and refunded tickets to all of our comedy club nights customers from 21st March onwards. This drew on any money we had to cover these costs.

We have stripped everything back, we have left our office, to avoid those costs.

We will also need funding to actually get restarted. Planning for and creating events requires investment. Our cash flow has come to almost a complete stand still. 

We have never received any funding from The Arts Council, The Government, or any artistic body. We rely totally on selling running events and selling tickets.

CLICK FOR 2010 BROCHURE

AS A THANK YOU - A FREEBIE

Everyone who donates £5 or more will get a free ticket to one of our live streaming events, which are on Saturdays fortnightly (Previous ones have had Johnny Vegas, Jason Manford, Kerry Godliman, Al Murray, Russell Kane)

Here's a few old flyers and brochures for you to stare at:

EDFRINGE FESTIVAL - HOW JUST THE TONIC GOT THERE

In 1999 I was selected to be a compere in the Big Value Comedy Show. In the same year as Micky Flanagan (where is he now?). 2 years later the producer of that show stopped working in comedy and I was asked to produce the show. 

In 2005 we took over the running of the venue for Edfringe and that was the start of Just the Tonic as an Edfringe venue. We soon established ourselves as a cheap option for performers in the days before the Free Fringe type model. In our time we have been the venue for a huge host of comedians that have gone on to become regulars at the Fringe and household names and TV stars.

We have always operated a model where we offer reasonable ticket prices to the public, as well as being a realistic working model for artists, meaning we are not one the venues where people go and regularly lose thousands. We have always maintained a policy of paying our staff and not relying on volunteers.

BIG VALUE COMEDY SHOWS

“Big Value is the best compilation show at The Fringe. It’s an excellent barometer of people who are going to go on to big things. And I’m not just saying that because I did it.” ROMESH RANGANATHAN

After taking over programming Big Value in 2002 we have maintained the ethos and have brought numerous comedians to Edinburgh for their first experience of it. We can boast spotting a huge number of comedians that are now household names and bringing them up to the festival. People such as Jason Manford, Sarah Millican, Jim Jeffries, Jon Richardson, Romesh Ranganathan, Josie Long, Rob Beckett, Kerry Godliman, Kiri Pritchard McLean, Nick Helm, Jason Cooke, Daliso Chaponda, Gary Delaney, Hal Cruttenden plus many many more comics on the circuit. This is the longest running comedy showcase in Edinburgh and each year we still personally select the acts, as we did in 2002

'Big Value is boot camp for young comics. I had a great time, played to amazing audiences and learned how to become a better comic.' GARY DELANEY

A SUMMARY OF WHAT WE STAND FOR

CLICK FOR 2011 BROCHURE

We encourage and support newer and diverse acts. We provide a professional setting at an affordable price for people wanting to go to Edfringe. We don't pretend to be all singing and dancing with top of the range equipment. We are a proper fringe venue. Our emphasis is on letting performers get as many people in to see them as possible, in supporting them in doing that. We also aim to ensure that everyone that comes to Just the Tonic, whether audience, performer or staff, all have a good time. After all, that is why we started it. We love having a good time!

Fringe venues and comedy clubs, such as ourselves, are the vital grassroots training ground for the future stars of the future, as well as the places that allow performers and artists to grow and develop and experiment. This allows the UK to continue to be a source of original and relevant comedy and comedians.

“I have very fond memories of doing Big Value. It was a lovely way to do what can be a tough festival on a new act. I grew as a comic and made some great memories” KERRY GODLIMAN

WHERE WE WERE BEFORE MARCH 2020

CLICK FOR 2014 BROCHURE

In 2005 we took around 14 shows to 2 rooms in The Cafe Royal (now The Voodoo Rooms). It was all organised and set up by myself and Joe Dickens

In 2019 we had a full programme of over 180 shows a day in 17 rooms over 7 venues. It is still booked by myself, and set up by Joe Dickens with the help of Martin England and others. We have a bigger team that has grown over the years.

For Edfringe 2020 we had around 140 shows booked out of a projected 190 when the COVID hammer struck. 

Our staff are all furloughed, which runs out in October. All costs have been stripped back to the bare essentials. 

WHY HELP JUST THE TONIC?

CLICK FOR 2016 BROCHURE

Just the Tonic are integral to that grass roots and we want to still be here when this crisis is over. We want everyone to be safe, so we have shut our doors. We want everyone to have a laugh, so we have started a Livestream on a Saturday Night (fortnightly at present). But this will not be enough to get us through until the time comes when we know we can safely produce shows again and start planning for Edfringe 2021

SO, if you think you can help us stay alive, please do. We will carry on putting on great shows at reasonable prices, encouraging and supporting the best comedians and helping to keep this underground and undervalued medium (undervalued by the high culture arts bodies of the world) alive as well. We want to still be here to be a space that is professionally run, with a good reputation, with a real sense of The Fringe, that actively seeks out and showcases the very different and unusual talent that is out there. We know that there are shows and people that have gained a lot from the small help we have provided. We love doing that and want to keep doing it.

“Just the Tonic and Big Value brought me to Edinburgh before anyone else had even heard of me. The line ups they’ve had speak for themselves. If you want to see the best new talent before they become huge then this is the place to do it.” JON RICHARDSON

CLICK FOR 2018 BROCHURE

All help means that we can kickstart things again when the environment is safe, with a full team and without the burden of having got into insurmountable debt to do so.

Thank you for reading this. If you have been to Just the Tonic before, thanks for supporting us in the past, and if you donate now, thanks for supporting us in the future

CLICK FOR 2019 BROCHURE

Darrell Martin

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Chance to win A PAIR OF TICKETS TO ANY OF OUR SHOWS FOR A YEAR. All names will be put into a hat and the winer will get a pair of tickets to see anything that we put on for a year (it will start when you choose). This includes our weekly clubs and anything we do in Edinburgh. For weekly clubs, one pair each weekend, plus any special shows and Edinburgh... a pair of tickets to anything and a special pass for discounted drinks at our bar.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Ticket to our next 'Working From Home' Live Stream. This one is at 9pm on 22nd August and is an Edfringe special. Featuring Jimeoin (live from Australia), Paul Foot and hi lights from Big Value Comedy Shows with Daliso Chaponda, Dane Baptiste, Kate Lucas, Charlie Baker, plus others. Great show and 'worth watching (Kate Copstick)

£20 or more

£20 Name in Print Reward

Name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure and a copy sent to you

£30 or more

8 of 100 claimed

£30 - Name in Print and Numbered Poster Reward

One of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£50 or more

9 of 100 claimed

£50 - Name in Print, Poster + T Shirt Reward

An exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£80 or more

£80 - 2 Tickets To Comedy Club (when they happen)

A pair of tickets to a Saturday night in one of our UK clubs or for Big Value 2021 in Edinburgh plus an exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£100 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£100 - Tickets to Press Launch, + The £50 Reward

A pair of tickets to our 2021 Press Launch in Edinburgh (or 2 pairs of tickets to any of our shows if you can't make it) plus An exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£250 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£250 - 2 People 2 Free Days at JTT 2021 Reward

Free entry for 2 people to all Just the Tonic's Edfringe shows in 2021 for 2 days, plus a backstage guided tour with some fun facts and history thrown in (you'll get to see parts of the Caves that no none else does... woo hoo!) plus An exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£300 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£300 - Personal Thank You From Johnny Vegas Reward

Johnny Vegas loves Just the Tonic. He will send you a filmed personalised thank you message for helping to support us. Plus an exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£400 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£400- Sponsor Midnight Show 2021 Reward

Your name (or company name) will be named as the sponsor of our Just the Tonic Midnight Show 2021. Name on flyers / posters / adverts anywhere we have branding for midnight show, plus a pair of tickets for each show (about 10 of them) plus an exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

£750 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£750- Sponsor Big Value Comedy Shows 2021 Reward

Your name (or company name) will be named as the sponsor of our Big Value Shows (Early and Late) 2021. Name on flyers / posters / adverts anywhere we have branding for Big Value Comedy, plus a pair of tickets for each show (about 10 of them) plus an exclusive Edfringe 2020 Just the Tonic T Shirt, one of an exclusive limited edition of numbered A3 posters and name printed in the supporters page of Just the Tonic's 2021 Edfringe Brochure

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