We Are Public: Culture As A Service!


We Are Public was one of the companies that joined Paradiso Labs on september 9th 2016 in the NY Media Center alongside companies like Jukely, AWAL and Eventbrite. An interview with Leon Caren of We Are Public.

What is We Are Public? (What do you do and how does it work?)

We’ve launched We Are Public as a new a new model to fund and promote progressive art and culture in Amsterdam. We do this, cause we feel that a vibrant cultural scene is vital for any modern city. This is how it works:
Every month We Are Public selects the 50 must-see events in the Amsterdam. Our members pay 15€ a month and get free acces to all these events. Our curated selection covers music, art, film, theatre, dance, opera, literature, science and more. With this membership we generate new audiences and new sources of income for artists and venues. In that sense, We Are Public is more then a membership. It’s a movement, aimed at redefining the relationship between artists and their (potential) audiences.

How big are you right now?

We launched in september 2014. Right now we have over 3000 members, and are growing in numbers. We work together with over 100 venues, museums, theatres, cinema’s and concert halls in the Amsterdam and are preparing to launch in other cities in the Netherlands in the fall.

What is your business model?

We Are Public is a foundation and we are funded by our members. Part of the membership revenues are used to run the organisation, the rest goes directly to our cultural partners. Every-time a member visits an event, we pay for the ticket. Since our launch in 2014 we’ve been able to cover close to 50% of the standard price, with a maximum of 15€ per ticket.

What role do you play in the live circuit? (How do you help artists and how do you help clubs?)

We connect artist to new audiences and basically make sure that more people go to shows and more tickets are being sold.
Even though live-music is only a small segment of the art and culture we promote, we have a strong background when it comes to promoting live shows. Before we started We Are Public, we founded Subbacultcha. An independent organisation that puts on around 50 concerts a year, runs an editorial website and publishes a magazine. Subbacultcha also works with a membership.

What are your ambitions?

Our main ambition is to generate new audiences and new sources of income for progressive art and culture. In the next two years we will do this by launching We Are Public in all major cities in the Netherlands and grow towards 10.000 members nationwide. And of course we're aiming at launching We Are Public in international capitals as well.

Why do you go to the United States with this Dutch delegation?

In January 2015 we successfully presented our project to an international audience at the ISPA conference in New York. For us, this is the perfect time for a follow up. During our stay we’d like to learn more about the New York art world and also explore the possibilities of bringing We Are Public to New York.

[Next friday, September 9th, 1.00-2.00 pm, Paradiso Labs will be in the NY Media Center, 30 John Street Brooklyn, New York. This is an open invitation to all interested in the music industry and its open innovation to stop by. Interesting talks, inspiring people. Drop by if you're in the neighbourhood!]