In order to face attendance and financial issues, theaters have been employing audience development strategies. Much research has therefore been devoted to uncover the factors that specifically demotivate attendance in order to address them. One factor that seems to encapsulate all of them and to be actively preventing attendance to theatre venues is the perception of theatre as a risky activity. This can be considered to include the Satisfaction, Social, Psychological and Economic risk, whose perceptions all contribute to consumers’ decision (not) to attend. On the other hand, performing arts festivals are striving in attendance numbers and also seem to be popular across all age groups, a feature theaters often fail to achieve. Being festivals “special events” that happen only occasionally and showcase specific themes that help form temporary communities of festival goers, it is hypothesized that they may provide relievers for the specific components of risk associated with theatre. Therefore, the main research question is: to what extent does the experience in arts/theatre festivals affect the perception of theatre as a risky activity? A quantitative analysis is employed to identify such an influence among people who attend theatre in a variety of contexts in the Netherlands, particularly regular theaters and festivals. It is found that participating to arts and theatre festivals does affect to some extent the appreciation for theatre, the perceived value in a performance and the overall perception of risk, which all ultimately lead to an increased attendance. These results may be of use to policy and theatre makers alike in formulating new strategies to appeal to a more diversified audience, addressing their expectations and worries, both in theaters and in the performing arts field at large.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cultural Economics, Cultural Entrepreneurship, theatre, perception, risk, festival, experience.
Thesis Advisor L. Carvalho Marques
Persistent URL
Series Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship , Master Arts, Culture & Society
S. Cardi Cigoli. (2019, June 11). Theatre as a risky activity. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from