When I was a teenager I played in a string quartet. We spent an afternoon once 'busking' in a local park near the tea shop. A few people dropped in some change and the occasional fiver while we were playing but when we'd finished, a lady who'd sat and listened for the full two hours came over and gave us £20. She explained that she'd pay at least that for a concert in a concert hall and that's what she thought her experience was worth.
I've just come across this report about a concert in Spain this week, at which the promoters are giving concert-goers an opportunity to do exactly that: Pay what they choose to on leaving the gig, rather than in advance of it.
This can be seen as quite a brave move - What if no-one pays? What if they hate it? What if we can't cover the venue hire?
On the other hand it may be a way to raise much more in ticket revenue than you perhaps might have done by setting a ticket price.
It's becoming more common for theatres and arts venues to offer the 'pay what you can' model but I haven't heard of one letting people see the piece before they choose how much to pay. Do you think it would work for theatre?
I feel like it is a great idea but you do have to be really, really confident in the quality of your work. At least you'd know straight away whether people liked it or not!
Would you try it? Have you tried it?
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