The London Ticket Bank program will be a cultural food bank for low-income people

A new program will be launched in London next year to offer free cultural activities for those struggling with the cost of living.

The ticket bank will function as the cultural equivalent of food banks, aiming to give low-income people easier access to music, theatre, comedy and dance.

The program will work by offering around 1000 unsold tickets a week to events across London to those who cannot afford to buy them.

To find those who need access to cheap tickets, the program will work with organizations such as Centrepoint and the Trussell Trust, which runs UK food banks.

From January, tickets will be available free of charge or as a “pay what you can” variant.

“Art is a human right. And the tighter people’s finances get, the more they’re being squeezed out of art,” said Chris Sonnex, the man behind the new program, in an interview with The guard.

Sonnex is the Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens, which “aims to create space for people in society by embracing and unlocking the life-changing and limitless possibilities of theater and art”.

“There are brilliant people who put together food banks and heat banks, but that doesn’t meet the basic needs of humanity from a spiritual point of view,” he explained.

Sonnex believes ticket prices are one of the biggest roadblocks for those wanting access to the arts.

“When people go to the theater, [at least] they’ll be warm for a couple of hours,’ said Sonnex

(Getty Images)

He continued, “People struggling with the cost of living also need access to community, entertainment and things that warm the soul.

“When people go to the theater, [at least] They’ll be warm for a couple of hours,” he added.

So far, seven London venues including The Roundhouse, The National Theater and Barbican have joined the program and more are expected to join in the new year.

Organizers hope other UK cities will follow the model to create similar opportunities. The London Ticket Bank program will be a cultural food bank for low-income people


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