Brighton Festival begins next week and for the second year in a row they are inviting audiences to join the “global, philanthropic movement” of pay-it-forward. The concept is simple, you pay £5 (or any amount above) when you purchase a ticket and the money will enable a disadvantaged person to attend the cultural highlight of Brighton’s calendar. They trialled the scheme last year and over a thousand people chose to pay tickets forward in the run up to Brighton Festival. Globally pay-it-forward has been running for 11 years and the ‘Pay-It-Forward Day’ initiative has run in the UK for eight. The ‘Pay it Forward LTD’ are an independently audited and runs with the principles of a not-for-profit organisation. They work with the UK’s schools, charities and faith communities to assist in fundraising and awareness for a variety of causes. This year ‘Pay-It-Forward Day’ is this Saturday (28 April) and Brighton Festival are doing one last push for tickets before the start of their programme. At the last official count there were more than 5 million people in 80 countries around the world who participated on Pay-It-Forward day.
All Brighton Festival ticketed events have the chance to buy Pay-It-Forward vouchers whether you book online, in person or over the phone. Pay-It-Forward is about encouraging people, from all walks of life, to make one small change or action to improve the life of someone else. The mentality is not exclusive to cultural events and has spread to Pay-It-Forward coffee schemes, travel passes and more globally. Nadine Strasman, the Chair of the Sussex Syrian Community Group said that last years scheme “enabled the Syrian members of the community and their children to attend a number of events in Brighton Festival last year. This experience has helped the community members to learn about the British culture and has made them feel welcome and included…without those tickets people would not have been able to attend any events in Brighton Festival.” More than half of all ticketed events across the festival are available for £1o or less and there are 15 events which will be free. The Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, Andrew Comben, said he was “overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm of our audiences”. He further elaborated that the ” Brighton Festival has always been dedicated to making the arts accessible for all. This year’s Brighton Festival is our most diverse and wide-ranging Festival yet, with more opportunities than ever for everyone to get involved and participate…the donation of £5 on top of the price of your tickets is matched by Brighton Festival to create a free ticket voucher for someone unable to afford the opportunity. We want Brighton Festival to be for everyone, and by contributing in this way you can help us make it even more accessible.”
So…now you know. When you book a ticket, if you can, help someone else who can’t afford it!