It’s been reported that audience behaviour at theatres has declined and incidents have increased in frequency. Theatre staff have experienced more bullying, violence, harassment or abuse at work post-pandemic. In fact a recent survey by Bectu revealed that 8 in 10 staff suffered threats.

But why is this? Narcissism, belligerence, intolerance of judgement?

There are in fact many complex factors at play some of which have been “super-charged” post-pandemic.

Our CEO, Professor Chris Kemp, says…

What people believed was social before has now become anti-social and what people believe was anti-social has become violence in many places

Some have become really introverted and are finding it difficult to go back to events, and others have become massively challenged with keeping their emotions at bay.

Lockdown has changed people’s sensibilities and they want to do what they’ve missed. It’s a bit like it’s super-charged, people trying to get as much in as they possibly can to make up for the time they spent in lockdown.

Professor Kemp goes on to say that other factors affecting audience behaviour include..

  • The cost of living crisis – with tickets increasingly difficult to afford, feelings of entitlement rise.
  • The customer journey – if it’s difficult, people get annoyed and angry. It can change the way that you behave and feel about the venue.
  • The knock-on effect – unfortunately people are starting to copy bad behaviours.
  • The poverty line – more and more people are under this line which moves towards social unrest.

These reasons and more have been discussed in depth in the Sunday Post article – ‘Dreading the hordes? Experts assess post-pandemic theatre behaviour as staff report increased levels of abuse.

It feels like the time to have a bigger, broader conversation about safety and to rethink our approach to audience behaviour.

Click here to read the article in full…

Mind Over Matter Consultancy

Mind Over Matter Consultancy Ltd (MOM) is a company that delivers cutting edge management consultancy and quality education provision with specialisms in crowd management, safety and security. We offer consultancy services and a range of courses covering management, planning, leadership and communication.

Our CEO, Professor Chris Kemp, is experienced in the fields of event safety, crowd safety, emergency planning, crowd science, leadership and risk management. Find out more about him here…

We also work with a great team of associates. Find out about them here…