Most buyers of arts tickets are women, says Ticketsolve

Dublin-based company finds female ‘social catalysts’ make majority of bookings

Women book 80 per cent of the tickets to arts events, tend to act as "social catalysts" and are more likely than men to make purchases more than three months in advance, according to research by Dublin-based Ticketsolve.

The company, which runs a ticketing platform used by theatres, other arts venues and festivals, asked customers in Ireland and Britain who bought the tickets in their household.

“What we heard was ‘my sister, or wife, girlfriend, mother, mother-in-law etc, always buys the family tickets for the Christmas panto for all the children’,” it has reported.

While researchers have previously found that women make up more than half of theatre audiences, Ticketsolve said the proportion of those who actually book the tickets was weighted even more heavily in favour of women.


The company said its research tallied with the fact that women were more likely than men to have primary care-giving responsibilities for both children and older family members.

“For us in the arts, this means that women are really multiple markets in one. They are the gateway to everybody else.”

Target audiences

Ticketsolve, founded by Brian and Sean Hanley in 2007, said it wanted to help its clients in the arts sector better understand their target audiences.

It said more than a third of women could be defined as “social catalysts”, or the people who plan and organise social outings and take pride in their friendship status.

But it warned against “inauthentic” attempts at marketing to women.

“People can smell disingenuous messages a mile away.”

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics