100 partners press release
New cultural listings website reaches 100 partners in 2 months
The new one-stop listings site for arts, cultural and heritage events in Reading, whatsonreading.com, now lists events from 100 different organisations and venues.
Launched in Late October 2019 by Reading UK and Reading Council’s Reading Arts, whatsonreading.com has been developed as a free digital platform available to all arts and cultural organisations in Reading. It is designed to help them promote their events, classes and workshops and most importantly, to provide residents, workers and visitors with a comprehensive view of Reading’s vibrant cultural scene, all in one easily accessible site.
Over 91,000 people have visited the site since it launched, where on any given day they can find around 300 events covering everything from music, theatre and dance to comedy, art and heritage and children’s events. There are over 30 regular and one-off classes and workshops listed too, giving adults and children the chance to get involved in a wide range of art forms.
The festive season dominated much of the listings in the first two months, with The Hexagon’s annual panto Cinderella sitting alongside carol concerts from the town’s many choirs and the full Magical Christmas in Reading programme. Looking ahead, highlights for 2020 include the Are You Listening? and Readipop Festivals, Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Holst's 'The Planets' and Progress Theatre’s production of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Wyrd Sisters’.
Our ever-growing list of partners includes heritage sites, arts and gig venues, pubs and community centres, theatre companies, dance schools, and so much more. Some put on one event a year, others multiple events every week, but all are free to list their events at no cost. We hold regular training sessions to get new partners up and running on the site, then they’re free to list their events and stay in control of their pages at all times.
Karen Rowland, Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, Reading Borough Council, said:
“We are delighted that the initial ambition of providing a digital listing for the varied events programmes in Reading has gained such a positive reaction. This has been something that has been wanted and needed for so long, so we are delighted it is up and running! We knew take-up was likely to be positive, but still, the scale of engagement from partners and users has exceeded our expectations.
The desired target to be able to host 100 of Reading’s fabulous arts and cultural organisations was a long-term goal and to have reached this in just 2 months is a further indication of both the demand for the site and the appreciation of its future potential.
It is my new ‘go to’ site for what’s happening around town and with a strong Twitter presence, including What’s On weekend updates, I get consistent reminders about what are the hot ticket ‘must-do’ events.”
Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK, said:
“Within just two months of launch, whatsonreading.com is already proving its worth. Having 100 partners signed up is recognition of the quality of the website, the training support programme in place to help arts organisations maximise the website’s potential and, ultimately, the compelling case for such a site to provide a single point of reference for visitors, residents and Reading’s workforce.”
Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3, said:
“Well isn’t it just great to have a site that reflects this buzzing, creative, happy town? Because there is now so much going on that we need something that can inspire us. We can look for things that we know about, but on the way we’re going to be able to discover new things.”
Matt Whitelock, Berzerk Productions, said:
“It just opens everything up so people can see all the different things that are on offer, and to hopefully go and try new things. That is the most important thing for me, to go along to something you’d think ‘I wouldn’t normally go to that’, and then make your mind because you’ll be really surprised at what’s out there and what would change your view on what you can see, hear or take part in, in the Reading area.”
Nick Thompson, Reading Rep, said:
“It’s genuinely a much easier task now with an interest in arts, culture and heritage to find out what’s going on. A vital resource.”
Suzanne Stallard, Jelly, said:
“A brilliant resource. I’m so excited to see that there is somewhere that showcases the full potential of what happens in the town.”
Andrew Harte, Reading Phoenix Choir, said:
“An excellent place for people to go to that’s been lacking up till now. This has really opened up to people how many interesting things go on in the Reading area.”
whatsonreading.com is joint funded and developed by Reading UK and Reading Arts – the cultural arm of Reading Borough Council – with support from Reading Central Business Improvement District (BID). It has been developed as a free tool for all cultural organisations in Reading.