A new ticketing system has been given over £100,000 to fund development by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. This pioneering technology has been spearheaded by the Firestation Centre in Windsor to allow more flexible ticket prices and improve audience outreach.
“Neo-Ticketing” has been designed and implemented by the Firestation Arts Centre in association with Monad Software Ltd and the Department of Economics at the Royal Holloway University of London, and will be used in the venue until September 2015. The technology utilises the same algorithms as airlines; raising and dropping tickets prices according to sales. The more tickets that are bought, the higher the price. The centre explains that there will also be regular “Price Crashes” to stimulate interest. The Firestation Arts Centre, which is in the heart of Windsor, hopes that these “flexing” prices will make their performances more accessible and perhaps more appealing to a wider audience, rather than tickets being stuck at a fixed price.
The Firestation explains that this will hopefully mean more full houses for their performers to play to, and hopefully more profit from each performance, while at the same time, giving theatre goers a better deal too. With rising claims that theatre is becoming “elite”, these innovations are a welcome attempt to make theatre a more communal and diverse place.
The Digital R&D Fund has outlined the importance of these new developments, and how the merging of technology and theatre is bringing new audiences and offering new possibilities to the world of theatre. The managing director of the Firestation Centre, Dan Eastmond comments that these new developments are the only way to survive as a traditional theatre in the modern technological age. “I would think every theatre, unless they have a slight death wish, is looking to see what new ideas are out there, and what they can do differently”.