Gwendolien Sabbe

Comedy, Circus and Street Arts Producer, De Spil
interviewed 22 July 2016 in Bruges —

Each season, De Spil's print programme is almost the size of a telephone directory. This Bruges cultural house brings in dance, music, cabaret, theatre, and circus, programmes exhibitions, films, and workshops, and in all organises some 400 events each year. Its commitment to circus and street arts has been long-standing, but in spite of some successes De Spil still find that they don't have a 'circus audience' at the venue — at least not in the same way that they have a reliable and consistent dance audience. One of their early circus hits was the Australian group Circa — they sold 500 tickets, the company got a standing ovation, and in all respects it was a wild hit. Two years later Circa returned with Wunderkammer, stylistically a very similar show, and struggled to sell 250 tickets. Now De Spil are searching for ways to build and better understand their circus following. Alongside the regular programme, every three years the venue also organises De Groote Stooringe, an outdoor arts festival that moves to a different area of town with each edition, and which allows De Spil to experiment with ways to expand their audience.

Key Ideas
Labelling Shows
Venues + Festivals
Selling tickets
Marketing & social media
Taking the show to the spectator - the Circus at Home project
Venues + Festivals
Building Audiences