University academics have identified a scheme which could generate millions of pounds in additional funding for cultural events including The Edinburgh Festivals.
Events management researchers from Queen Margaret University's International Centre for the Study of Planned Events have devised a scheme which could generate in excess of £3 million a year to support cultural events in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Dr Goldblatt explained: “When establishing our International Centre for the Study of Planned Events, we consulted with the major festival directors in Scotland. They stated that the single most critical need for the future of Scottish cultural events was to identify additional sources of funding.”
Research: Dr Joe Goldblatt
The research study showed that a substantial income stream could be generated if a £1 levy was added to all ticket sales. This solution was favoured over other alternative schemes by a majority of the cultural events directors, local council members and quangos who were all interviewed as part of the report.
Sustaining funding for our major arts festivals is always a challenge
Dr Joe Goldblatt, Director of the Study of Planned Events at QMU, explained: “Sustaining funding for our major arts festivals is always a challenge. Particularly in the current climate, it is critical that we identify alternative funding approaches which are reliable and sustainable year after year.
“The Audience Contribution Transfer System (ACTS) provides a reliable funding source from the target market who directly benefit from the cultural events.”
Dr Rebecca Finkel, a researcher on this project, clarified: “There would also be an opt-out scheme which would allow people who are buying tickets to choose not to pay the extra one pound donation.
Theatre owners in New York City grossed about $10.5m from this kind of contribution
“It's interesting to know that theatre owners in New York City grossed about $10.5m from this kind of contribution in 2006. Also, Edinburgh's Harvey Nichols' Fourth Floor Restaurant raised approximately £17,500 by implementing this kind of optional £1 donation scheme to each restaurant bill for the aid of homeless charities.”
The study, which involved interviews with cultural leaders in both Edinburgh and Glasgow and an in-depth examination of best practices in the USA, was conducted to identify sustainable funding sources specifically for The Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Fringe, Piping Live and Celtic Connections.