The new Artistic Director has announced a series of inclusive measures, including free tickets for drama and performing arts students in the city.
Sheffield Theatres has announced that it is dropping booking fees for the “foreseeable future” in response to customer feedback.
In addition, the theatre is offering a free ticket to any show at the Crucible theatre for anyone in Sheffield studying drama or performing arts at GCSE or A level, and a second ticket to the same performance at a reduced price of £5.
“The idea of culture and creativity having a vital place in education is under sustained attack,” said Robert Hastie, the new Artistic Director at the Theatres.
“I do not accept that, and we will do everything we can at Sheffield Theatres to inspire and nurture a passion for theatre in our city’s young people. It’s vital that we put our money where our mouths are about the value of live performance.”
The news was announced alongside Hastie’s inaugural season, and the release of 10,000 tickets at £15 for the newly announced productions.
Sheffield Theatres’ decision to drop the £1.50 booking fee, which was £1 for online transactions, applies to all bookings made at the theatres.
Commenting on the decision, Michael Nabarro, CEO and Co-Founder of ticketing organisation Spektrix, said: “We think Sheffield Theatres is absolutely right to cut booking fees. We know many other theatres who are considering doing the same.
“Arts organisations sometimes underestimate the importance of the online booking experience. Booking fees are irritating at best, and we sometimes compound the problem by not being clear about them when we advertise or quote prices. They come as a shock at the end of the purchase process and let’s be honest – they are never welcome.
“There are much better ways to find additional revenues, mainly by getting to know customers better and cross-selling them things like meals or packages based on their previous buying behaviour.”
Robert Hastie added: “Our doors are open to everyone and in uncertain and divisive times, the importance of spaces where we can come together to share stories and debate ideas has never been greater.
“Our theatres are places where we can hear other points of view and discover more about the strangers we live alongside. Everyone is welcome. They are safe places and they are thrilling places.”