A SPANISH theatre feeling the effects of the ‘culture tax’ has started to sell carrots instead of tickets to bring back audience members.
Because the vegetable is a staple food product, it can only be taxed 4% rather than the 21% IVA charge on standard tickets.
“The theatre world was in very bad shape, but this tax will basically kill off small theatres like ours,” said Quim Marce, who sold the carrots for €13 at his theatre in Bescano, Catalunya.
“Other theatres will have to follow our example and finds ways around this unsustainable tax,” he added.
The news comes after a recent report found that audience numbers had fallen by a third.
In the four months following a tax hike on cultural events, which increased IVA from eight to 21%, theatres across the country reported a total loss of around 1.8 million spectators.
With rocketing ticket prices, theatres have suffered a 33% drop in takings and a loss of over 600 jobs.
Industry officials have branded the increase ‘tragic and devastating’, calling for the government to repeal the new IVA rate.
“With the increase in IVA, the government ignored the systemic crisis hitting the sector and aggravated it to unsustainable extremes,” said Daniel Martinez, President of the Federation of Theatre and Dance Companies Associations (FAETEDA).