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14 February 2020 at 11:51 am

Why we love Pay What You Decide

Article Author:
Edward Dixon

Why do we love Pay What You Decide?

The value of Pay What You Decide

Two years ago we decided to try something entirely new at the Drill Hall. The plan behind our Pay What You Decide (“PWYD“) schemes was with the intention to develop audiences. Following in the stead of amazing venues such as Slung Low in Leeds and ARC in Stockton, we did our research and marched forward. PWYD was, and is, a way of inviting our regular visitors to come more regularly, and to compel those that are apprehensive to try something new (or put off by the financial stumbling block), to give us a chance.

One thing we have been confident of communicating from the off, is that the scheme is not about offering shows for free. We certainly do not want to devalue the remarkable work. We want to provide you the opportunity to see the value in the artistic work we present. The decision is your own as to what you think it is worth.

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Reducing risk

Coming to the theatre, we realise, is a luxury. It is one that comes with small barriers to be overcome for you to reach our doors. PWYD is there to reduce the monetary risk, one of these barriers, so that you can develop your love of the arts. Some of the more “arty” shows are quite difficult to describe and promote, especially to people who have never experienced something like it before. By offering the show as PWYD we want to empower our audiences to take the chance. We want people to trust in our programming and join us for these shows.

Has it worked for us?

In a word- yes. In two words- hell yes. We have been hugely proud to see the increase in audiences, especially for the lesser known shows. People appear to be booking for multiple PWYD shows at a time, trying a variety of different performances and getting behind the scheme. Our audiences have doubled in size and due to generosity from yourselves we have also developed income.

A little thank you

As you will know, the Drill Hall is in a financially precarious position still, though the donations from our amazing supporters has gone a huge way to help secure this. PWYD is a scheme that we hope acts, in part, as a thank you and encouragement to our community. We hope if you have not already that you give us a go, and that you demonstrate your support for the Drill Hall as you can. We hope to see you there.


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Children enjoying PWYD