Why Festivals Charge

While I was researching other festivals around the country, I stumbled across a forum post that was scathing about Manchester’s 24:7 Festival and the principle of charging writers for submissions and charging the successful ones a further participation fee.
“Yet another businessman has hit upon the idea of organising a play festival and charging the writers to enter.” it said. A number of following posts supported the call to boycott this festival and sympathised with the writers stance.

There seems to be a long held belief in the UK that art should be free; this is manifest in pirate taping of the twentieth century and the illegal downloading of the twenty-first. I don’t know if this is because there is no tangible value in a piece of art or some inherent jealousy. I suspect it is a conditioning born of the long standing British tradition of art galleries and museums that are free to enter, free libraries, free to air television, radio, (latterly) YouTube, Spotify, etc.

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