Arts & Culture Feed

Audience Participation - App...lause in the arts


picture credit

My attention has recently been turned to the behaviour and expectations of audiences and cultural social activity. This post is a train of thought. Social Media is about connection, conversations, amplification. Bums on seats are not enough? Footfall is not enough? We want updates, checkins, comments. We build apps. We post on social networks.

Apps are useless unless you can convinced the audience they have to use them. Do they need them? Why should they? Is there a need for the resulting engagement. From an audiences point of view?

What value do successful apps and resulting engagement contribute to the event experience?

Is the app even meant to initiate legacy? Is it throw away? One hit. 

The creation of an app around an event is to provide cohesion to an experience, an enrichment of the 'on the ground' engagement. The digital resonance providing the online enticement to participate from the wings, consequently exposed ambiently to amplified social media content.

I want my audiences to experience richly, and the emergence of social media offers that promise. 

How do you convince someone they are missing out in a personal way. I don't want to evangelise I want people to get it in there own way. I guess that where the 'Internet adventurer and explore' tag line came from. I don't want to make anyone do anything but to chose a rich way of living.

Event tech needs embracing and introducing to audiences. 

Night classes in:

  • Twitter for audiences
  • Path for your family
  • Smart Phones on Holiday
  • Blogging as a legacy (family history)
  • Facebook discussion nights

When do we stop education the business community and start informing the consumer community on how to make better demands on the technology they have access to?

Business gets its value but their holy grail is a compliant consumer market. They want our 'likes', +1's , and praise. Where's the social? You can't turn consumers in to social conversationalists with a desire to connect beyond their daily world by salesmanship. They have to want it. It has to be meaningful and engage as a result.

It is tangible, the use of hashtags in current affairs. The election debates or Question Time. Trending keywords reveal all sorts of pulses.

Does a cultural audience have a social conscience? Entertainment is very self serving. Social Media could be seen as a Camera Lens capturing content. Recreational participation of culture is about the direct experience. Seeing theatre, watching a film or experiencing environments (art galleries and museums) The creation of real time social media is not why audiences attend. Having an 'on the ground' blogger's experience through the social technologies of social media is the best solution. They aren't there to document experiences of delegates or an audience but to be a delegate or be in the audience while telling their experience story.

How can future audiences benefit from that? How can attending audiences enhance their experience of the event? If a venue creates a media archive how do they digest it, make reference to it.

Sxswi SCVNGR keynote by Seth Priebatsch. Ted is a great event reference. Does making slides available with out the keynote commentary have sufficient value? An experiential archived audience perspective reference has to be the way to go.

The audience needs educating, empowering, informing about accessing active participation records. How do we do that?

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

What is the modern equivalent of the famous visiting-star photo wall in the theatrical local drinking establishment?

It has struck me that audience development dialogue rarely mentions the personalities who visit their venues and a continuing interest of what becomes of them. Is this not the gift of social connection inherent to social media, maintaining connections. Do you think of making social connections to follow visiting companies and the company members? Actors now have a community connection opportunity with each other after companies part ways like never before.

I envy the current touring community with in the entertainment industry for this digital connectivity. Sadly I'm not sure how much they are able to make use of it to it full potential. The reality is that inside the performance world of the industry there is not a strong IT savvy community. Generally if you are successful your IT skills are weak. Unless you have a technology leaning computers are a bit of a mystery. Smart phones have opened a new world of communication. That a large proportion are excellent at, communication and reflected self expression. A world of potential. The fragmented duel personality segmentation of private and public, personal and professional, the digital world demand we negotiate is familiar ground and executed with exquisite ease by the best actors working in theatre.

This is especially true of actors who work in independant theatre. By Independant I mean organisations using the Independant Theatre Council contract or should be if they of a certain size. It includes theatre-in-education companies, rural, small and mid scale touring.

What is this opportunity for art centres with performance spaces?
What promotional opportunities does this present to the theatre companies?
What opportunities does this provide actors?

Celebrity is so remote. It is distant admiration with little possibility of reciprocation. The companies booked to fill a schedule bring with them talented performers, each has a story each is on a journey perusing their chosen career as a working actor. They have a personal and professional outlook. It may not be well defined online so be respectful. Social media is about people not marketing strategy. You need a strategy to layout objectives and establish achievements but for social media content you need stories and the development of stories to maintain engagement.

While I toured, especially to art centres and village halls the organiser often welcomed back actors who had visited on previous occasions with other theatre companies. They are your celebrities. It's not only about being on 'telly', actors emerging on broadcast media have begun a career either in theatre or low budget films. A theatre company returning to a venue with a new production may contain established cast members but many actors will move on and explore artistic avenues.

Whether you develop a rappor with returning actors or follow others as they climb their career ladders it's an opportunity that can sustain a social media community, the (your) audience. You are their connection to the stars.

Indirectly you will benefit working actors you connect with connecting them to the people they perform for. It's a link I think is lacking at present from my observation with audience development professionals.

They are your venues' flesh and blood attraction.

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

Nottingham is twinned with Ghent

When I first mentioned in my Twitter stream that I was traveling to Ghent for Audiences Europe's New Technologies for New Audiences quite a few of my network responded to tell me what a beautiful city it was. That shouldn't have seemed unusual however there did seem to be a lot of business connections to the Belgian city. I discovered that Nottingham is twinned with Ghent.

"Nottingham is twinned with four cities around the world. Ghent was twinned with Nottingham in 1985. Ghent is a city in the North East of Belgium, between Brussels and the North Sea. Its population is around 244,000 people. Local football teams from around Nottingham regularly play in tournaments in Ghent."

"Modern Ghent has a thriving digital economy and Nottingham has links with the Digipolis organisation which leads on the city's ICT strategies."

Connecting globally is an important as local engagement. The cultures which divide us can inform and educate us making diversity integral to ethical thinking. Working with Audiences Europe the necessity to understand what motivates a participatory customer base for cultural reward seems to be the objective of members. The emergence of social media, social networking and mobile technologies to make cultural participation richer beyond the activity of attendance is a great tool. Audience development marketing specialists are asking questions and learning how to reach and maintain connections with their audiences.

Audiences Europe has it's own social network called AEN Audiences Europe Network. A small team use this network to collate resources and develop knowledge for the profession is in it's infancy. With EU funding it is running off line events to encourage audience development agencies and their staff from across Europe to come together and share findings.

Audiences Europe Network

Nottingham is twinned with Ghent

When a star dies... How can the show go on?

Yes the adage holds true "the show must go on". To make that happen props, costume and setting are as vital as lights, camera and action. Today I headed up to Derby Road. So many small pieces of theatre set dressing and costume accessories were sourced from TopHat and the numerous bric a brac stops that lined the street. Steep Hill in Lincoln is a joy of secondhand books so Derby Road was to dressing prop acquisitions. Devastated it's all gone.
In February next year I'm running a workshop looking at how social media is influencing the role and function of Stage Managers at the SMA Stage Management Association's first annual conference.
My thinking is starting here. As an old landscape disappears the role of the Web is both a social and professional lifeline in these modern times. Explore and discuss.

When a star dies... How can the show go on?

The Darkened City - A digital theatre experience

Theatre, live performance. The smell of the grease paint, the roar of the crowd! Good theatre starts with a great story. Tallented actors can pull off a poor script but its rare. Can theatre be delivered through the medium of social media? I'm going to find out. The information below is all I have to go on. I have signed up and I am curious and cynical in the same breath. The new wave of digtal participation has inplication for the theatre and those who work within the industry. This excites me. I want to part of it. I want to share it. I want to experience it. Will I feel like a lone audience member? Does that matter?

The Darkened City « marcuslilleyartist

‘The Darkened City’ is A Neo – Noir Transmedia Theatre performance taking place from Monday the 12th of September 2011 till Friday 16th of September 2011 as part of ‘Process at Play’ arts festival.

Inspired by Film Noir’s such as ‘Double Indemnity’ (1944) ‘Sweet Smell of success’ (1957) ‘The Big Heat’ (1953) and more recent Neo Noir’s such as ‘LA Confidential’ (1997) ‘Sin City’ (2005) and ‘Shutter Island’ (2010) ‘The Darkened City’ is a theatre performance which presents a city full of corruption, bribery, violence, sex and where no one however innocent they may seem is ever entirely trust-worthy. Also inspired by the work of photographers such as: Arthur ‘Weegee’ Fellig and Gregory Crewdson

Told through tweets, emails photos, live performance, installation and exhibition, ‘The Darkened City’ is an immersive, interactive theatre performance taking place in a fictional city where the rules are there to be broken, corruption is rife, and everyone is out for their own personal gain.

Pap-flyerfinal-front The ‘Darkened City’ begins at 8pm on Monday 12th of September 2011 at Live at LICA (Lancaster University) in Lancaster and concludes on Friday 16th of September at 12pm

For anyone who cannot make it to Lancaster the experience takes place through social media and mobile technology so it can be experienced anywhere. Just email your twitter username, email address and contact mobile number to participate.

To sign up to the performance please email: with your email address, mobile number and a twitter username.

For further information on the event please click here:

For further information on ‘Process at Play’ please click here:

--- The Rules ---

The Darkened City

(Monday 12th September 8pm till Friday 16th September 2011  12pm)

Artist: Marcus Lilley (@marcuslilley) (


You can participate as much or as little as you like throughout the week.

There are four characters:-

Harry Marshall / Veronica Haywood / ‘Example’ / George Miller 

The Twitter username you need to follow is: @marshall_harry (!/marshall_harry

Follow the hashtag: #thedarkenedcity 

You will receive text messages from: Harry Marshall 

Phone number: 07809 748261

You will receive emails from:

A Police Detective called George Miller:

Veronica Haywood:

Please remember to check inbox and check as non – spam.

  • In order to participate fully, you must provide a twitter username, an email address and a mobile phone / text number (or if you do not have a twitter username, visit Harry’s Twitter page twice a day)
  •  The entire performance is experienced remotely, via these methods of communication. However, please feel free to interact with the characters if you wish via these means.
  • You will receive text messages, emails, and tweets throughout the week (Monday 12th September to 12pm on Friday 16th September)
  • You should check your email account and Twitter page at least twice a day.
*Any issues or problems during the week should be reported to Marcus Lilley ( Review of iPhone Applications for Arts and Culture


There is an app for everything! I want the apps that are interesting to me. I've been looking at iPhone apps in anticipation for the arrival of my new iPhone. I'm particularly interested in apps for the arts. I don't get to see as much theatre as I'd like. I don't see as much art as I'd like. My time, my free time is valuable and I am quite solitary. This collection of apps for the arts I can't wait to explore. Any arts and culture app suggestions for audience experience I'd love you to post links. I'm also on the look out for arts and entertainment industry supporting apps too. Do you develop iPhone apps please let me know.

Lace Market House opens her doors once again to MediaCampNottingham

MCN2 banner Some might say I'm a funny fish. Odd statement? Love meeting people, loath crowds. Enjoy a good gathering, don't like going out. Strange? For me MediaCampNottingham is the perfect event. My office is in Lace Market House so MediaCamp is my home from home. When I moved in to this building in Nov 2007 with its sweeping staircase and grand piano in the reception I smiled. The location was good.

Part of my agreement here with Nick Max Director of CHC-Land and overseer of Lace Market House and the NoStringsAttached initiative is to provide some social media guidance, online networking advise and digital streamlining to the facilities offered to LMH resident businesses.

MediaCampNottingham is genuinely an open doors, arms thrown wide event. The venue has not been hired especially for the event it was selected and seen with the view to hold mediacamp type events in. I was enamoured with the elegance and heritage. We now have 100mb Internet but the rooms are not filled with tech. The light on spring and summer days is enchanting.

MediaCampNottingham 1 took place in May 2009 - Lace Market House is opening her doors once again on March 27th. Sessions on the schedule include...

  • The evolution of our craft. A look at working in the media - 10 years back and ten years forward - @lesanto
  • Social media for NGO's Social media ethics - @presleysylwia
  • Connecting Nottingham's creative communities online - @susioneill
  • A very public beta. Five years in... - @iainsimons
  • Anatomy of a Campaign: Drupal, Social Media and Activism - @adamsargant & John Sargent
  • Social Media and Marketing - Oh, no, not again! Don't switch of... @fmpickering
  • Pitching a Cross Platform Television Idea to Commissioning Editors - @AlecMcPhedran
  • Your Doh Ray Me of  Social Media - Lessons Learned, Journeys taken, Future travel plans - @pcmcreative

There are still 10 days to go as I write this post and already the line up is buzzing with creativity.

MediaCampNottingham is using eventbrite as booking service. Entry is free and Lace Market House's IT infrastucture supplier, Excell Group are sponsoring MediaCampNottingham's lunch so all guests signed up through the Eventbrite site will get lunch prepared by local cafe and official coffee shop for MediaCampNottingham 2010, @HungryPumpkin

This will be my favourite event of the year well apart from MediaCampNottingham 3 in the Autumn.

Media Camp London 3 - part 3

The Arts, Creative Industries and Business. Very distinct attitudes to business and creativity. Do you have an audience or a client base? Are they consumers or visitors? The social media phenomenon is ideally suited to audience engagement. Venues and Events with delegates and visitors can blossom with the correct social media tool kit to enhance their activity. But the vital link is a real person and the catalyst for success is an existing interested community. I have encountered a lot of cynicism surrounding the adoption of social media within business. What's the point? On the flip side The Arts with their meager budget and creative ideals embrace social media. What can I do with it? Watching creative organisations and creatively minded businesses adaptation, inclusion and fusion of social media services, platforms and tool is a why I enjoy what I do. From just a few discussions and the imagination fired its easy to structure a plan of attack to get them going. Digital sustainability has to be worked at and looked at from many sides. On a personal level it's your ability to listen to your inner dialogue and amplify.

For my own presentation at MCL3 I took the opportunity to reflect on my time with Amb:IT:ion. As a network of social media adventurers keen to embrace and explore the potential digital can provide its also important to have practitioners walking the walk and talking the talk to fuel, to inspire and Media Camp London delegate are a perfect complement. It was my hope that some would sign up to the Amb:IT:ion UK network and join the adventure.

Several Amb:IT:ion network members came along and I'm pleased to say a couple of Media Campers joined the network.

This is my slideshow from the session.

AMA Digital Marketing Day - Sadlers Wells

I can tell you that half a bottle of red wine is not conducive to blogging! It was great to catch up with @adrianslatcher and the ins and outs of Manchester's Social Media cafe. Now I'm traveling back to Nottingham from St Pancras after a day of live tweeting and live stream chat on behalf of Amb:IT:ion and AMA (Arts Marketing Association) at Sadlers Wells. The AMA's Digital Day had the unweildy hashtag of #amadigitalday. The first lesson of the day, bare in mind an event tag consumes characters and when you only have 140 they are precious and even more so if you want to be re tweeted. Better tag would have been AMADD09 or amadd09 both would be returned in a search but with lowercase letters no shift key to hold. Yes tres lazy! This aside and off my chest...did I mention half a bottle of Red! The day was inspirational. Two of the keynote speakers, Jim Richardson and John McGrath were live streamed by the Amb:ITion team, Erin Maguire, Hannah Rudman and Moi. 

Available media

The streams are now available to view on demand.

*** link to stream on demand ****

Media created and tagged amadigitalday can be gathered using a simple Google search.

*** link to Google search ****

It is even possible to request to be updated if any new content is uploaded and tagged or includes the keyword amadigitalday is found by Google by subscribing to the RSS alert feed for this search.

*** link to RSS feed of the amadigitalday Google Alert ****

You have to rely on the human link to upload the content and to tag it appropriately. I took photos and Qik streams through out the day. The photos need uploading to Flickr and filtering to a widget and the Qik needs tagging and embedding.

*** link to the Flickr search on the tag amadigitalday ***

*** link to the Qik mobile streamed videos tagged amadigitalday ***

As  I travel home I'm preparing for my next presentation event. Social Media for public Sector on  Dec 3rd. When do I find time to aggregate? The more live archiving I can do the better. Adding tags and titles is not so straight forward but 10 minutes adding these details makes them searchable. Click the links above to see the collected media from the day.

Still... I've blogged and Twittered. Even if my blog is posted a few days later! Must try harder!