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Exhibition and roundtables celebrate UK free events

Eventbrite's 'Free: Celebrating Free Events for All' aims to "shine a light on the important role free public events play in our culture and identity"

By IQ on 01 Apr 2016

Free: Celebrating Free Events for All, Eventbrite

Eventbrite is to host a touring exhibition celebrating the best free events held in the British Isles over the last 50 years.

Free: Celebrating Free Events for All, a multimedia exhibition that will run in London, Glasgow and Dublin, will also serve as a backdrop to networking events and discussions for those involved in running free-of-charge events.

The first Free exhibition will kick off in London on Wednesday 6 April and run till Sunday 10 April. It will include over 300 rarely-seen photographs, audio, video and posters covering “Carnival to Castlemorton, Pride, the early free concerts including the Stones and Pink Floyd in Hyde Park, David Bowie in Beckenham and other iconic moments in national cultural life”.

The Glasgow exhibition, running from 12 to 16 April, will “look to the huge variety of free events that take place across Scotland every year, ranging from the stunning spectacle of Strathaven Balloon Festival to the carnival atmosphere of Glasgow’s West End Festival parade”, while the Dublin event, from 13 to 17 April, will focus on “the inspiring free events that have taken place in [the Republic of] Ireland since the formation of the state, including photographs taken by eyewitnesses at pivotal moments in the nation’s history, digging deep into the archives at The Irish Times and the Irish Photo Archive”.

“Next week’s roundtable and discussions will provide us with a healthy debate”

The London and Dublin events will begin with an invite-only roundtable, followed by a behind-the-scenes panel discussion exploring the historic role free events play in British and Irish culture and what can be done to ensure they thrive.  The London roundtable will be moderated by Andrew Harrison, former editor of Q, Mixmag and Select and cofounder of the Word.

Eventbrite UK and Ireland general manager Joel Crouch, who joined the self-service ticketing and registration company in January, says: “Next week’s roundtable and discussions will provide us with a healthy debate. Free event organisers tell us that their pinch points for hosting free music, community and cultural gatherings can be as simple as availability of suitable venues and spaces. Sometimes they are looking for guidance on everything from health and safety training to making the most of social media and technology to market and manage the event.

“We had over one million free events on the Eventbrite platform last year and are pleased to be able host a free-style exhibition of iconic images and memories, as well as support the many organisers who run free events.”

London’s panel discussion on 6 April will be hosted by DJ Mag editor Carl Loben and feature DJ Pete ‘Woosh’ of the DiY sound system and free festival veteran Chris Tofu. In Glasgow a panel will explore the challenges and advantages of creating music events, with an emphasis on festival culture, and in Dublin panellists will focus on the issue of attracting sponsors.