I am completely in agreement with Christopher Lawrence (ArtsProfessional issue 62, November 17) when he bemoans the fact that certain venues refuse to give performing groups access to audience data for their own promotions in that venue.
Like the Academy of Ancient Music, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields is given no access to the names of those who book for its London concerts.
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an audience who are obviously full of enthusiasm for what they are hearing and yet being unable to capitalise on that enthusiasm by contacting them afterwards. The venues themselves have no hesitation about doing this, but surely it is obvious that by purchasing a ticket to see a particular orchestra, the buyer is declaring themselves a supporter of the orchestra just as much as a supporter of the venue. In these days of shrinking corporate support we are constantly being urged to look instead to individual donors but, for those of us who have no permanent home, identifying such donors is an almost impossible task if we do not have access to audience data.
Surely, venues should be working with us to ensure that we both survive and prosper, rather than hiding behind a dubious interpretation of the Data Protection Act to make sure that they alone can capitalise on audience data? They do, after all, need performers to appear on the stage as well as people to sit in their seats.