Creating entry points for non-arts audiences

Converting the general public into arts lovers is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s an area in which festivals, with their range of free public events, can play a key role.
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A previous Brisbane Festival production, Santos City of Lights. Image supplied.

From fireworks displays and outdoor projections to free performances and concerts for the under-fives, Australia’s broad range of arts festivals not only provide audiences with a range of low-cost and easily accessible events – they also act as valuable opportunities to recruit new audiences to the arts.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts