Vancouver New Music is known for taking artistic risks in its bold concert programming; now it's applying the same daring strategy to its ticket pricing.
The company is adopting a Pay What It’s Worth model as a way to encourage more people to attend live events and at the same time give people more access to local, Canadian, and international artists who push the limits of sound-making.
It's part of an exclusive two-year audience-development partnership with weshowup.io, a new, Vancouver-based digital platform.
Under the system, audiences pay a fee of $3.50 to reserve a ticket in advance of the show, and will be contacted after the event to pay whatever they think the experience was worth. Audience members will also be able to pay directly at the theatre on the night of the show.
In the announcement today, VNM artistic driector Giorgio Magnanensi stated the initiative is based on the belief that by “simply giving people the opportunity to contribute more, they will. That’s the idea that this year’s VNM festival and series wishes to experiment with. This is also what creativity and imagination has always been about: helping people create and support positive change in their lives, and fostering imagination and vision to direct our own creative energies and dreams.”
The idea is that audiences might be more willing to take a chance on something new and unknown if they can pay what they think it's worth.
VNM's upcoming season includes New York-based cellist and improviser Okkyung Lee collaborating with local electronic musicians in a show called Parallel 02 on November 16; Winnipeg's crys cole and Australia's Oren Ambarchi conjuring sound worlds on February 15; and a collaboration between virtuosic Italian violinist Silvia Mandolini and Vancouver's new project magik (with Kenton Loewen on drums, Marina Hasselberg on cello, and Magnanensi handling diffusion and live electronics).
Only one show this season is excluded from the new pricing initiative: Bill Coleman and Gordon Monahan’s Dollhouse, copresented with the Dance Centre from March 12 to 14, 2020, and selling tickets through Tickets Tonight.
Speaking on the new partnership with Vancouver New Music, Kahlil Ashanti, founder and CEO of weshowup.io noted in the announcement today: “There has to be a new approach to attracting new audiences in this age of digital distraction, and we share their mission to connect as many people as possible with quality arts experiences in an inclusive way.”