Attending Dark Earth by bike

I was in Peterborough yesterday for a Dark Earth production meeting, which essentially meant two and a half hours of playing with wool, twigs and a tape measure. Oh and lots of talk of pumps, power and preserving peat on the extraordinary Flag Fen site where the play will be performed in September.


The meeting also gave me an opportunity to relive the last leg of my Hairy Biker ride through East Anglia.  Flag Fen is right on the cycle route from Peterborough into the Fens (via The Green Wheel and the Fens Cycle Tourism project).  Essentially that means you can get from the heart of Peterborough and Whittlesea to Flag Fen (which has plenty of cycle parking) on fabulous traffic free routes.

Naturally that got me thinking.  How do we encourage attenders of Dark Earth to think about coming to see the play by bike?  I scribbled down some thoughts but I’d be interested to hear your responses and ideas as to what might work…

Discounted tickets

I started in the obvious place, with discounted tickets.  But that’s tricky – we want people to book in advance so whats to stop people claiming a cycle discount three weeks ahead of the show and then arriving by car?


So if that wont work would a discount ticket to another Eastern Angles show work – the seasonal show The Brontes of Dunwich Heath (and Cliff) comes to the Key at the end of January (the show will sell out so not much capacity there for offers) to be followed by River Lane in May.  Would that work?

Added value

Throw in a free programme (ahem our programmes are likely to be free anyway!) or free drink / refreshment at the venue.  The idea of offering an alcoholic drink seems the wrong message – people have got to get back and hopefully families as well as adults would cycle to the show

Goodie Bag

The added value idea leads you quite naturally to is there something about trying to source a goodie bag for people who cycle in with contributions from the partners, bike shops and other interested partners perhaps.  Would that work?

Prize Draw

Or there is the age old incentive of the prize draw (cycling kit, vouchers or equipment from a local supplier perhaps?).  Another one to muse around.

Practical Considerations

Then there is the question of whether or not we should be encouraging cycling to the site (and off road) in Autumn evenings (the sun sets around 1940 in September so the return journey would be in the dark).  Responsible cycling would need to be encouraged – and with a focus, perhaps, on encouraging cycling on the matinee performances (14,15,21,22 September)

These are just musings for now – and I would genuinely like to hear peoples views / suggestions.


3 thoughts on “Attending Dark Earth by bike

  1. Free drinks I think would be appreciated.
    Maybe you could get some Eastern Angles bells produced?! Sort of an incentive…
    What if you could coordinate some kind of en masse arrival? Any way of incorporating this (inspired by the forest coming to the castle in Macbeth!)? A different, maybe more creative, kind of incentive? Kind of think if you flag it up as possible keen cyclists would do it anyhow, but this might encourage other kinds of cyclists to do it. Maybe the bell is their reward?! The of course, you could sample the sounds of the bikes, or create some kind of sound installation by giving them wool, twigs and tape measures…!

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