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Are events becoming too expensive?

We have been running this website for some ten years now, and never imagined that it would be so successful and self-funding through donations. A real success story.

Our core aim has always been to promote events which bring people and communities together. The secondary aim is to raise funds for charities and good causes.

  • Community first
  • Fundraising second

We have noticed that many event organisers have increased entry ticket prices year on year incrementally. Some events are now very pricey.

An expensive example

One event which is live on this website charges £23.00 entry for a couple with two children (update - 2023 cost is £30.00 for a couple).

This is a VERY long way from what we were intending. It used to be a joy to spend a few quid and wander around gardens, going for the tea, probably cake as well, and some cheap plants, but some events are now beyond the financial reach of many.

There are still a good number of events on our website that are very inexpensive (some are free) and which provide excellent value for money, with large numbers of gardens open - great events that are community-focused and not money-focused.

The Cost of Living crisis

The cost of living crisis is forcing individuals, couples, and families to make very difficult decisions, and we would suspect that a family on a tight budget would not be looking to spend £23.00 to visit some town or village gardens.

We don't want Open Gardens to become elitist and only available to those with a reasonable level of disposable income.

So what, if anything, should we do?

We have some ideas forming, but we would value your views on this. Perhaps we're out of touch. Perhaps we've missed the point. Perhaps raising funds for charities is the priority, or maybe we should stick to our guns and promote only affordable community events, with much less emphasis on fundraising.

Express your view

Anyway, if you wish to express your view, then drop us an email. You can be as brief as you wish, anonymous or named, you can include your location if you wish - whatever you prefer - but please let us know your views on the thoughts above. Ideally let us know if you are an organiser, or a visitor.

All treated completely confidentially, and nothing passed on or published.

Here's the email address to use:

Rachel Slater

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