Test Drive the Arts NI, an initiative to get thousands of people to ‘test drive’ the best of our thriving theatre and performing arts, is giving away thousands of ‘guest’ tickets as part of the launch of its new website.

www.testdrivetheartsni.org will for the first time enable anyone who has never been, or rarely goes, to live theatre or performing arts events to get on-the-house tickets to some of the city’s hottest shows, including Carol’s Christmas at the Theatre at the Mill and the Ulster Orchestra’s upcoming Nordic Connections at the Ulster Hall.

“As a ‘test driver’ you and a friend can come along to a performance of your choice and 'try before you buy’,” explained a Test Drive the Arts spokesperson.

“The website lists a wide range of shows available for test driving. Simply select the performance you are interested in attending and complete the registration form online to request tickets. It is open to all residents in Northern Ireland, all you have to be is over 18 and not have bought a ticket from the venue you want to test drive in the past three years or ever.”

Seventy-three arts organisations have signed-up to the initiative already, including Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, Ulster Hall, Grand Opera House and Lyric Theatre as well as some festivals. You can choose any performance from those on offer on the website. However, guest tickets are limited and available on a first come first served basis. Only the shows listed on www.testdrivetheartsni.org are part of the initiative.


“If your request is successful, tickets will be posted to you prior to the show or you will be asked to print out your confirmation email.

“After the performance you will be emailed a quick online survey and asked to provide feedback about your experience. We cannot guarantee that test drive tickets will be available for your chosen performance. However, if your first choice is not available, you are free to apply for tickets to another show.”

You can only register once for free guest tickets from Test Drive the Arts and the tickets are only available online from the website.  Also, You cannot apply multiple times to see the same show.

“This is to allow as many people as possible to participate in the initiative.

“Thousands of tickets are up for grabs on the site with more being added every week.”

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