All events at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) will have optional ticket prices from early next year, the centre’s chief executive announced on Thursday.
The move to a “Pay What You Decide’ model was announced by Tarek Iskander, BAC’s chief executive, in a panel on arts engagement on 12 November and will run from spring 2021.
The centre reportedly lost 20% of its income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which visitors to the centre have been unable to attend because of government restrictions.
Iskander told the Achates Philanthropy Foundation panel that Battersea Arts Centre’s current £10-£20 ticket prices do not provide much value to the centre as it creates a barrier to access.
He said: “BAC does what it does to bring arts and creativity into everyone’s lives.
“I’m incredibly excited that we’re able to do keep doing our bit, working with audiences to build a fairer future that works for all of us.”
Aside from ticket revenue, the centre also receives funding from the Arts Council England and Wandsworth Borough Council.
This funding includes help provided through the Cultural Recovery Fund for cultural sites affected by the pandemic.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the £1.57bn rescue package for the sector following a public outcry from venues for help in July.
Despite the radical change to the pricing structure, Iskander has assured artists that they will still be supported by the venue.
COVID-19 has hit cultural landmarks particularly hard with footfall rendered impossible by restrictions on indoor gatherings.
Battersea Arts Centre was set up in 1980 in the Grade II-listed former Battersea Town Hall building.
Featured image credit: Morley von Sternberg