Brighton Open Air Theatre, known as BOAT, is an award-winning purpose-built outdoor performance venue in Brighton and Hove. We caught up with Anne-Marie Williams, BOAT Manager, to discover how TicketSource helps to get audiences onboard with their programme.
How did Brighton Open Air Theatre begin?
BOAT was the dream of Adrian Bunting, a local playwright and construction manager. When Adrian was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he designed the venue and left money in his will for four friends to see his vision through. His friends raised a further £100,000 and BOAT was opened by Adrian’s mother in May 2015. The theatre seats 425 people, and it’s a beautiful space with an amazing dynamic between performers and audience.
What performances take place at BOAT?
Adrian declared that BOAT would have an open artistic policy, so we have a mix of programming – everything from debut amateur shows to Shakespeare’s Globe On Tour. This year, we are staging 140 performances between May and September, including theatre, circus, music, family shows and, for the first time, wrestling.
Why do you use TicketSource?
TicketSource has been used by BOAT right from the start. When I joined the company, I inherited the system and I’m glad they chose it. I had used other ticket-selling programs in the past and found some of them tricky to manage, but TicketSource is really easy and intuitive. It does everything I want it to do.
How is TicketSource particularly useful?
As an open-air venue, we offer refunds to audience members if a show has to be cancelled due to bad weather. Fortunately, this only happens occasionally! Most venues will have a ‘no refund’ policy, but TicketSource makes it easy. We simply pull up a report, hit a button and off goes all the information to our ticket holders.
How do you use TicketSource to check-in audience members?
On performance nights, our box office is very low tech – it’s a minimal set-up with no electrical power or wifi. We take a printed list of attenders from TicketSource and use it to manually to check people’s names at the gate. It’s a simple way of welcoming people that fits well with the feel of the venue.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking about using TicketSource?
Because the system is easy to play with, I’d suggest experimenting by setting up dummy events. But – even better – come and work for us, and play with our events!
For more information about BOAT, visit https://www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk/