Saturday 24 August 2019

Tain Arts Centre to introduce booking fee

A number of local theatre, musical and dance companies are urging people planning to see their shows later in the year in An Táin Arts Centre to buy their tickets ahead of the introduction of a booking fee on all tickets sales from September 1st.

Urging their supporters to buy tickets for their forthcoming production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ' now, Dundalk Musical Society have stated that they are 'very unhappy with this additional charge being passed on to patrons we have no other choice but to accept it'.

Posting on their Facebook page they said: 'We have always strived to keep our ticket prices at an affordable rate so that theatre is accessible to all of our community and not just the wealthy and elite. Despite huge overheads ourselves, we have always endeavoured to bring you a top quality show at an affordable rate.'

They continued that they had made representations to the board of An Táin Arts Centre and have met with the Managing Director, and 'unfortunately they are not in a position to reverse this charge despite our pleas.'

Paul Hayes Managing Director confirmed that 'the board of An Táin Arts Centre have decided to put a €1.50 booking fee on each ticket sold from September 1st, regardless of whether its booked on-line, by phone, by person, or how it's paid for.'

He said that the decision was made following a review which found that for the first five years of the centre operating, it had supplemented the cost of tickets for the benefit of the customers.

There is, he continued, a growing amount of people buying tickets on-line and paying for their tickets by credit card, making up 85% of sales.

He stresses that the booking fee isn't just related to credit card charges but expenses incurred from having staff in the booking office, running the on-line booking service with ticketsolve, the cost of the tickets and banking charges.

'We did a very big audit of this and found that it was costing us about €1.50 to process each ticket,' he said.

Paul added that a survey of twenty similar sized arts centres around the country showed they had all introduced booking fees. 'It's the done practice,' he said.

The Argus