How an indie company is working to engage new audiences

Pairing with local businesses with an established customer base can help transform unengaged audiences into cabaret fans.

Cabaret act Ginger and Tonic at Gasworks Arts Park. Photo credit: Sanjeev Singh (Photos by Jeevs).

You can’t rely for long on friends and family to pack out your shows, and social media can only reach so far. So how do independent artists connect with new audiences and encourage them to buy tickets to works they’ve never heard of before?

In 2017, Laura Burzacott and Jane Patterson co-founded Backpack On Productions, a new venture designed to provide fulfilling opportunities for artists as well as enriching experiences for audiences.

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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