Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Prices for Readings at Festivals

I was looking at the prices for going to readings at Ennis Book Club Festival (all 10 Euro pretty much except the Paul Durcan/ Thomas Lynch reading 15 and the lunch with Claire Kilroy 18 Euro) There's no lower prices for concessions, wrinklies, students, unemployed (me) and it seems to be that this is pretty expensive. I mean you've had to get to Ennis and stay somewhere and eat and drink in the town then pay 10 Euro for each reading? And will you go all that way just to go to one?

And then Poetry Now comes out with readings costing 18 Euro, 14 concessions, 12 for students or 20/15/12 Euro. Or 14/10/8 Euro. (How do they make up the prices?) A ticket for the whole festival is 80/60/50 Euro.

I would go to three 5 Euro readings rather than one 10 Euro reading. It's not like they're sold out. More audience the better. For 18 Euro I could buy 2 books. Or a pint of gin.

What does anyone else think?


Anonymous said...

i think is a load of crap charging so much for readings. surely now festivals should be able to get far cheaper accomodation and so on for visiting writers and prices should come down accordingly.

dave lordan

Totalfeckineejit said...

Yip, pint of gin please.

Besides you'd need a pint of gin to sit through some of these.

swiss said...

i agree entirely. all of these things, festivals, readings, competitions etc seem to have gone up markedly this year.

i too, would rather buy a book

(as an aside i was offered some money earlier this year but refused it on the grounds it would be better recycled into the thing i was doing. it caused some confusion!)

Emerging Writer said...

I ended up going only to one event at Ennis. Disappointing.

Also, I should have said that people are more likely to buy a book if the event was free or low cost, no?

Hi Swiss, you've confused me anyway, you mean plough the money back into the festival?

Jared Jess-Cooke said...

those prices are a joke. If I ever get to the point where I can actually charge to give readings, I will point blank refuse to do so if people are having to pay that much - unless they get a free massage....

Emerging Writer said...

Or a donation, Or maybe a free poetry pamphlet. Like those competitions that send every entrant the anthology of winning poems.

Belinda said...

Hi Kate - many festivals, like Poetry Now, are tied in with the venues which host them in terms of the ticket prices we can offer. If the venue ticket prices go up, our prices have to follow as a consequence of having the venue as a base.

However, it should be said that a third of our events at Poetry Now this year are free of charge, including the Gallery Press celebration, at which it will be possible to hear six very fine poets - Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon, Rosanna Warren, Kevin Young and Vona Groarke - read from their work. The Strong reading, featuring four emerging poets, the Irish Times award reading, and a public conversation about craft with Homero Aridjis, Rosanna Warren and John F. Deane (hosted by Paul Perry) are also free.

I'm very conscious of the need to make the festival as accessible as possible. The "as possible" proviso is a reality for those of us on the organising and programming end - there are large costs involved in running a major festival, and as I've mentioned, the venue sets prices in many cases. Hence the significant number of free events.

Belinda McKeon, Curator, dlr Poetry Now

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks Belinda. Perhaps it should be the venues who need to look again at their pricing. I'm not alone thinking I would rather spend the money on a book than a reading when they cost so much.