As reported by the BBC, as part of a £2.5m government-funded plan, nearly 100 publically-funded theatres across England will offer free tickets to young adults. Between 2009-2011, the participating theatres will give away tickets at least once a week to 18-26 year olds on a first-come, first-serve basis. The plan follows recommendations made in a recent government review about engaging young people.
The Supporting Excellence in the Arts report, by former Edinburgh International Festival director Sir Brian McMaster, recommended a "free week" to engage young audiences by opening up publicly-funded arts organizations. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that, after consulting with venues, the idea had been translated into "a long-term and sustainable opportunity to engage young people and build a new audience over a period of time".
Arts Council England has given its support to the plan, calling it ‘an exciting new step’. “We want young people to grow up with a strong sense of the possibilities the arts give them," said its chief executive, Alan Davey. "In order to have that happen, we must make it easy for young people to get access to excellent, inspiring art."