In response to last week’s article in the Daily Telegraph by Rupert Christiansen – “Come on, Sir Baz, stop relying on charity for the arts” – artistic director of the Two Moors Festival Penny Adie was compelled to write the following to the editor of the paper:
Rupert Christiansen suggests that the best way for arts organisations to stand on their own two feet is to ‘build solid commercial foundations through selling more tickets to the public”.
I wonder what his solution might be to help the Two Moors Festival stay upright when it functions on Dartmoor and Exmoor where there are more sheep than people, let alone businesses. It regularly sells out of tickets – last year over 100% occupancy in some venues. In spite of this, it couldn’t survive without the cap in the hand accompanied by a large begging bowl. Its audiences are a plucky crowd, eager to explore adventurous programmes and very happy to be 200 miles west of the M25. Last year’s unaccompanied Bach concerts that took place in the ticket office at Tiverton Parkway station were a winner.
We simply could not manage without the generosity from trusts, philanthropists and the Friends of the Festival – in addition to our healthy box office takings.