Non-existent festival to support struggling culture venues

Prague City Council, in cooperation with ticket portal GoOut, have launched a new initiative to support theatres, concert halls, clubs and other venues closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of April 1, people can buy a symbolic ticket for a non-existent show to help save their favourite culture venues.
I discussed the project with its initiator, Prague councillor for culture Hana Třeštíková:

“We have been thinking about how to support culture since the very beginning of the coronavirus crisis, since the theatres were forced to close.

“The benefit of this event is that the cultural institutions, theatres and other venues involved in the ‘Nothing 2020’ festival, don’t need to invest any extra money.

“There are other campaigns in support of culture. You can for instance watch a theatre play online and send money to the theatre, but the theatre itself has to pay fees to the author or license for the music.

“But in this project, ‘Nothing 2020’, they get the money straight away, so this is the main benefit of this event.”

What kind of venues can take part in the project and how many have applied so far?

“It is unlimited, so any kind of venue such as a theatre or a club or a cinema can participate. So far maybe thirty venues have applied. The initiative is not limited to Prague only. Any cultural institutions from the Czech Republic can take part. I know there are already venues from Brno, Olomouc and other towns and cities.”

How exactly does it work and how can people support their favourite cultural venues?

We do it via collaboration with the online ticketing company GoOut. The venue can simply submit their play about nothing or a concert about nothing. Every venue has a capacity of 1,000 virtual seats and anybody who wants to support some specific venue can go online and buy their virtual ticket.

“The tickets cost different amounts. You can support a venue with just a symbolic 25 crowns, or or you can buy a virtual VIP ticket for 5,000 crowns. The initiative lasts until the end of April, so I hope it will raise a lot of money.”

Do you know how many tickets people have bought so far? How much have they contributed so far?

“Today is the third day of the event and almost a hundred tickets have been sold over the past two days, so I think that each venue has already earned something. Of course we also need them to promote them to the event on their own so the activity of each of the venues is also crucial.”