ACE sets out digital database plan to improve access

The interior of an auditorium
18 Oct 2022

Arts Council England unveils its vision for improving access for D/deaf, disabled and neuro-divergent audiences, saying the current 'patchwork' of existing services across the UK 'cries out' for a more joined-up approach.

Cost of Glastonbury tickets rises 26%

18 Oct 2022

The price of tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival have increased by 26% with organisers blaming "challenging times" for the rise.

Festival-goers for the 2023 event will be charged £335 plus a £5 booking fee for standard tickets when they go on sale on 6 November, with a £50 deposit.

That represents a 26.4% increase on the £265 cost before booking fee for tickets that went on sale in 2019 for what should have been the 2020 festival that was ultimately postponed.

The BBC reports that Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis said "incredibly challenging times" are behind the rise and they had tried "very hard" to keep costs down.

"We're facing enormous rises in the costs of running this vast show, whilst still recovering from the huge financial impact of two years without a festival because of Covid," she said.

"The £50 deposit on ticket sales day in November will be the same as ever, with the balance not due until April.

"And, as always, there will be opportunities for many thousands of people to come as volunteers or as part of the crew.

"In these incredibly challenging times, we want to continue to bring you the best show in the world and provide our charities with funds which are more vital than ever."

Institute of Contemporary Arts plans raves to boost coffers

12 Oct 2022

London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) is hoping to plug its annual funding shortfall with a renewed focus on live performances and club nights that finish at 6am.

Speaking to The Guardian, Turner Prize-winning artist and ICA chair Wolfgang Tillmans said new ICA director Bengi Ünsal's programme for the West End venue will “make people aware that there is this spot in the most established place in London that is underground, progressive and also has a really late license.”

Tillmans added that the intention is “to put the ICA back on a sustainable footing with a new mix of programming that brings back evening audiences and activates the bar and uses the late license that we have.”

"Ultimately", said Tillmans, "the goal of initiatives such as a partnership with the ticket app Dice is to make ICA self funding."

The venue currently receives 21% of its funding from Arts Council England, which amounted to £862,441 last year, but Tillmans says that “there’s a shortfall every year”.

Ünsal joined the West End venue from the Southbank Centre, where she was head of contemporary music and in charge of the annual Meltdown festival.  She replaced Stefan Kalmár, whose five years in charge saw programming centred on the visual arts.

Time for a new pricing model?

Silhouettes of three people on a stage curtain
05 Oct 2022

In the first of two articles on innovative pricing practices, David Reece explores different approaches to price setting and asks to what extent the emerging choose-your-own price model is a genuine alternative.

Plymouth theatre hails 'accessible' payment model

22 Sep 2022

A theatre in Plymouth says a year of allowing audiences to decide how much they pay for performances has made its productions more accessible.

Barbican Theatre's Pay What You Decide (PWYD) scheme offers audiences the opportunity to pay whatever they feel an event is worth, even if that is nothing, and was implemented across 52 shows in the 2021/22 financial year.

According to the theatre’s Impact Report, 3,103 PWYD tickets were issued during 2021/22, generating an income of £17,224, resulting in an average yield of £9.

The theatre says 61% of its new audience was made up of under 35s non-arts attendees, with more than 25% of customers stating that the scheme was the reason they booked.

Marketing & Communications Manager Jo Cann said feedback from audiences had been “incredible,” with the scheme “making a huge difference to who can attend and benefit from the experience of culture and live events”.

“We have spent a great deal of time making sure the language used to communicate how Pay What You Decide works is both accessible and transparent and it’s genuinely so great to see how this has really worked for us and our audiences.” 

Ticketing firm faces collapse after 'aggressive' growth efforts

image of a crowd in front of a music concert
16 Sep 2022

Festivals face possibility of losing money held by ticketing firm for upcoming events after it files for administration.

Scheme to tempt visitors back to museums launches

13 Sep 2022

A new museum and gallery membership scheme in Tyne and Wear has launched as part of efforts to attract people "back to culture".

Local museums and galleries in the area say they have been struggling to return to pre-pandemic visitor levels after a drop in numbers of up to 50% at some venues. The new scheme covers 10 galleries and museums run by Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums. 

The venues offer free entry, but admission is charged for special major exhibitions. Under the new tiered membership scheme, visitors can purchase an annual membership that includes free entry to ticketed exhibitions, invitations to special events and priority booking.

Membership fees will be used to fund the running costs of venues including Laing Art Gallery, Hatton Gallery and Discovery Art Museum, Shipley Art Gallery and South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, as well as two Roman forts and a steam railway.

Study recommends changes to ticketing practices

05 Sep 2022

Report recommends changes to ticketing practice to make changing or cancelling tickets simpler.

Call for artist compensation over loss of Fringe app

01 Aug 2022

Performing arts and entertainment union Equity says the Edinburgh Fringe should compensate performers over the absence of the official app at this year’s event.

The Edinburgh Fringe app is widely considered to be vital for generating ticket sales. Earlier this month, an open letter from the Live Comedy Association, signed by over 1,600 performers, promoters and venues, condemned the Fringe Society for a lack of transparency over it's decision to withdraw the app.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society CEO Shona McCarthy has since apologised, adding “we really should have better communicated that the app would be one of the casualties of our financial constraints this year”.

Equity has acknowledged the Fringe’s apology but says partial refunds should be given to those who registered for the event before the announcement the app would be unavailable.

“This would be an important goodwill gesture and help repair the damaged relationship with performers at this year’s Fringe,” said Equity’s Organiser for Comedians Rob Lugg.
“The removal of the Fringe app could impact ticket sales as well as accessibility for disabled audience members. 

“This is concerning as two years of Covid restrictions have hit our members hard, and with an out of control cost-of-living crisis, the biggest threat to the future of the Edinburgh Fringe is performers deciding that they cannot afford to take part.”

Easol launches tech toolkit for festival organisers

27 Jul 2022

Experience commerce technology company Easol is launching a new toolkit designed to help festival organisers run profitable events and deliver “gold-standard” customer experience.

In the wake of the pandemic, festival organisers are facing challenges including rising costs and supply chain issues, loss of labour due to the pandemic and a saturated market after two years of postponements, the company said. It also cited low consumer confidence and the cost of living crisis as factors affecting ticket sales.

The new toolkit aims to help tackle the problem of organisers using multiple websites and systems to manage customer bookings and payments, which Easol says leads to “increased fees, loss of data and a loss of control over the customer experience”.

“It is amazing to see festivals up and running again but as festival organisers ourselves, we know that they are facing an uphill battle by using outdated technology that erodes the control they have over their business,” said Ben Simpson, Co-Founder and CEO of Easol.

The company plans to reveal full details of the toolkit at an event on September 22.

Exclusive: Major arts organisations affected by ransomware data breach

19 Jul 2022

Southbank Centre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House and The Old Vic among many UK arts organisations affected by huge data breach.

Visitor attractions face 'significant cost-of-living barrier'

Martin Creed 'Work No 850' at Tate Britain
12 Jul 2022

Predicition of higher admissions levels for visitor attractions this summer compared with last year, but cost of living emerges as a concern for potential audiences.

Weathering the inflationary storm

petrol pump price
04 Jul 2022

Faced with inflation and a squeeze on consumer spending, how can arts organisations weather this financial storm? David Reece looks at both increasing and reducing prices.  

Ticket firms announce partnership

04 Jul 2022

Ticket insurance and protection firm TicketPlan has partnered with one of the leading ticketing companies and live events websites in the UK.

Under the arrangement TicketPlan will team up with Skiddle in order to provide refund protection to their advance ticket purchasers.

Ben Bray Relationship and Development Director at TicketPlan said: "It’s incredibly exciting to be working with one of the UK’s leading and growing live event ticketing companies renowned for their technological solutions and consumer focus.”

TicketPlan was established in 1999 enabling ticketing companies, sports organisations, venues, attractions and events to provide an added value service to ticket buyers. 

Established in 2001, Skiddle has become one of the UK's leading live event websites. 

‘Dynamic pricing’ to blame for £400 West End seats

12 May 2022

A spokesperson for West End play Cock says “dynamic pricing” caused tickets to be priced at up to £400.

The show came under fire earlier this week after tickets were priced as high as £400, plus a £60 booking fee, on the production’s official booking system.

With the show’s 13-week run set to end on 4 June, a spokesperson for producers Elliot & Harper said “the remaining premium ticket sales are based on supply and demand”.

They also confirmed 15% of all tickets had been sold at £20, with a daily lottery offering £20 tickets at every performance.

Cock is being staged at the Ambassadors Theatre, one of the smallest venues in the West End.

On Wednesday, theatre consultant Carl Woodward noted tickets priced in excess of £300 on Monday were now priced below £200.

The ticket levy

Studio Liverpool's Royal Court
11 May 2022

Using a ticket levy as part of a capital campaign can generate much needed funds. Lucy Costelloe argues the benefits.

Reforms may have ‘negligible’ impact on ticket fraud 

27 Apr 2022

Government reforms to prevent ticket sale scams may be insufficient to create lasting change if they are not enforced, an expert says.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is being granted new powers to enforce consumer legislation, including the ability to fine businesses 10% of their global turnover for breaking consumer protection laws.

The CMA is expected to use its new tools to combat touting and fraudulent ticket sales.

But Adam Webb, Campaign Manager at FanFair Alliance, told Access All Areas the government had failed to respond to specific recommendations submitted by the CMA eight months ago. 

Without legislation to tighten rules around secondary ticket sales, the reforms won’t guarantee lasting change, he said.

“Unless there’s a willingness to take enforcement action against rogue companies, the impact of these new powers is likely to be negligible”, he added.

National reporting centre Action Fraud estimates that ticket fraudsters duped 4,982 victims into spending £3.8m in the 2021-2022 financial year – an average loss of £750 per victim. 

Craig Mullish, Detective Chief Inspector for the City of London Police, said reports of ticket scams for festivals and sporting events rose when Covid restrictions lifted last summer and have grown further this year. 

Dynamic pricing on trial: guilty or not guilty?

pound sign in handcuffs
19 Apr 2022

Thanks to the pandemic and the rising cost of living, a widespread pricing practice is back in the spotlight. Robin Cantrill-Fenwick rises for the prosecution… and the defence.

Much more than ticketing: your box office is vital for success

image of box office at theatre
06 Apr 2022

The box office provides much more than just the ability to sell tickets. It’s important, says Natalie Watson, to use the data insights it generates to help regain audience trust.

Delivering stellar ticketing services

Sietse Bakker delivering the opening keynote of #TPC2022 Photo by Jas Sasni
06 Apr 2022

The Ticketing Professionals Conference (TPC) was conceived in Denver in 2015 at the International Ticketing Associations’ annual conference. Andrew Thomas reflects on how it has developed since then.


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