Battersea Arts Centre ‘Pay What You Can’ model targets reconnection with post-lockdown audiences

A new experimental season of programming has been unveiled by Battersea Arts Centre, with the venue offering a universal ‘Pay What You Can’ ticketing model to make its offer more inclusive.

The goal of this strategy is to reach and reconnect with as many people as possible after a year like no other for visitor attractions. Despite the change being highly pertinent in the pandemic’s context, it is a step which has been under consideration by the organisation for several years.

Inclusion is central to this, and adds to work such as the Relaxed Venue approach adopted last year. The methodology was developed by Touretteshero in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and is key to the site’s overarching mission to place access, inclusion and social change at the heart of its operations.

“From now on, as well as being relaxed, every Battersea Arts Centre performance, live or digital, should be financially accessible to everyone,” says Tarek Iskander, the institution’s artistic director and CEO.

“As the times demand, it’s important that we are all supported to come together now, whatever our financial means or personal circumstances, and do the exciting creative thinking needed to refashion our communities and the ways we relate to each other and our world.”

While admissions revenues may at first be unpredictable under the new model, Battersea Arts Centre has received welcome philanthropic funding news. A grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation’s Weston Culture Fund will support the creative development of ten early and mid-career artists, while Bloomberg Philanthropies has pledged another two years of critical support.

Wild Times features Brownton Abbey, an evolving international performance collective which centres around and celebrates the intersectional perspectives of disabled queer people of colour

In the same vein as its ticketing innovation, the new season of programming, Wild Times, is pushing the boundaries wherever possible. Whether it’s experimental theatrical films, cutting-edge 360° technology, intimate online performances, or a life-size outdoor board game, the Arts Centre is leaving no stone unturned in its pursuit of a ground-breaking visitor experience.

“Our topsy-turvy world continues to transform at a rapid pace, and like the artists, young people and communities who are the creative engines of Wild Times, at Battersea Arts Centre we are determined to be part of a better future for everyone,” Iskander concludes.

“The remarkable and diverse works in this programme exemplify people adapting, reimagining themselves, doing things differently. They don’t shy away from the hard truths but are also full of joy and the thrill of future possibilities. It’s proof that even a pandemic can’t stop our collective determination to connect, collaborate and be creative.”