Give poetry a try, then afterwards pay what you decide
The 39th Poetry International Festival welcomes you with a new concept: first attend the programme, then decide the value and only after that pay.
When leaving the hall you can deposit your financial appreciation in the boxes provided. A definite example of ‘value for your money’. And an enormous motivation for the organization to present the best of the best.
At the supermarket they’d look surprised if you said: ‘I’ll come and pay tomorrow, first I want to see what I think it’s worth.’ And yet paying afterwards is a phenomenon that is appearing to a growing degree: more and moreoften contractors allow their employers to decide afterwards what they’ve got to spare for the work they’ve produced. And it’s not only small business people: the Eindhovense Schouwburg presented a flamenco performance at the end of last year, which the visitors rated with their payment only afterwards and there are even restaurants now with menus without prices. First taste, then pay. The customer really is always right.
This so-called ‘reverse-economy’, which the media has devoted abundant attention to over the last few months, has many advantages. Although in the first instance it perhaps seems as if only the customer or client profits from it, the supplier also plucks the fruit. He has to stay sharp; ensure a high quality product. That is a challenge, and challenges sometimes increase
creativity substantially. It doesn’t do a supplier any good if potential customers stay away or customers never come back. Poetry International chiefly has experience with the first category. ’Every year newcomers are once again pleasantly surprised and definitely plan to come back to the festival
the following year,’ reports Bas Kwakman, director of Poetry International. ‘But many untrained poetry readers and listeners don’t just go out and buy a
ticket to ‘do an evening of poetry’. The threshold is simply too high. Not because a ticket is so expensive – last year a day-ticket cost
€ 10.00 for students and young people, and € 12,50 for other visitors – but mostly because of the spending risk. Whoever comes for one poet will perhaps
think a day-ticket is too expensive and whoever wants a taste of unknown poetry, doesn’t know what to expect for that money.’
Poetry International wants to bring an interested public into contact with international poetry. With well-known and promising poets from all corners of the world. ‘The public is central,’ says Kwakman. ‘In principle sharing
our network and our discoveries with the public is more interesting than making money from it. Through this new method of payment we will be able to welcome a larger public. In order to offer all visitors, including the newcomers,
a warm welcome, there will be hosts and hostesses at the festival, who, if necessary, can provide visitors with information about the Rotterdamse Schouwburg and the festival programme and explain the new method of payment.’