June 29, 2020Updates



After some time spent underground, we’re ready to re-emerge as a new Basement. We’re holding onto what we learnt during our underground period by shaping new ways of working with each other and our community. In our Basement Reunited season, we will be prioritising the sustainability for our artists and accessibility for our audiences. We’re so looking forward to reuniting with our Basement whānau, and seeing the space alive with performance and parties again. Join us for a special season of programming, testing out new ideas, and bouncing back from disruption.


First we’ll be filling our Reunited season with shows from our cancelled Summer and Winter seasons, as well as Comedy Comebacks - shows rescued from this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival that never was. Running alongside that as always will be our series of regular events, Snort and live music gigs and DJs.

We’ll also be taking bookings for private hires/events and for seasons of work from more established arts companies - as we know they’re struggling to find affordable venues at this time. We’ve reduced our hire rates during this period to help everyone get back on their feet and back on stage.

View our venue hire rate card & booking contact info here >

Submissions to our Summer Season 2021 (including Fringe & Pride festivals) will be opening soon, but if you have a work that you’re desperate to get on this year get in touch > and we’ll see what we can do.


●  Basement Reunited Party: Sat 29th August

●  Comedy Comebacks & Snort

●  Basement Gigs & DJs

●  Space available for free rehearsals, private hires and events

●  Submissions for Summer/Fringe/Pride seasons open


●  Reunited programme - week-long seasons of work return

●  Regular events, gigs & Snort continues

●  Company in Residence: Tuatara Collective

●  Beyond Basement commissions - artists reimagine our post-pandemic life in this new, free-to-attend series beyond our walls.

●  Hookups - we connect artists with unused spaces around Tāmaki Makaurau


●  Christmas Show fundraiser: 18 Nov - 18 Dec
We are over the moon to announce that this year’s Christmas Show creators are the hilariously talented Kura Forrester and Hayley Sproull.


These are some changes we’re implementing for this special season of Basement Reunited to help artists and audiences feel comfortable and confident making and attending live performance. Some of these ideas are things we’ve always wanted to try - we’ll review how they go and might continue them into next year if they’re a hit.

●  Reducing venue hire risks for artists - we will guarantee artists a minimum box office income from their season.

●  Improving hygiene and smaller audience sizes - we are shrinking the capacity of both of our spaces by 10% to help with distancing, managing audience traffic flow, and pumping out the hand sanitizer.

●  Changing ticket prices - we’re reducing our standard ticket to $25 and our unwaged ticket to $15, and adding a special donation ticket price of $35 to give extra support to artists.

●  Reducing other venue costs - we will carefully manage our venue operating costs so that we can pass these savings onto our artists and hirers.

●  Supporting promotions - we will take on some of the costs of promoting shows such as photography, poster design, PR and advertising.

●  Offering free rehearsal space - to independent performing artists.

●  Seeking greater investment from our supporters - we will approach our funders to help us offer greater financial security to artists who produce shows during these uncertain economic times.


Did you know that the average show at Basement costs between $10,000 - $30,000 to make? This is usually without any of the professional practitioners involved being paid a minimum wage. Instead, the company members will receive a share of the net profits after all production expenses are paid. When a show is staged at a small venue like Basement - with a 65 - 100 seat capacity, and runs for only one week - even a sell-out season will be unlikely to return a net-profit to the artists involved.

Accessing public funding plays a big part in making live performance possible, but not every show staged at Basement is funded. Sometimes companies run crowd-funding campaigns, or use their own cash to make a show happen. Cashflow is also an issue - with artists receiving income from ticket sales well after the season has ended.

Basement was founded to be an affordable venue hire space - we run a very different model to other venues, where we take 20% of box office sales instead of a per night fixed hire charge - which means if a show doesn’t do well, then neither do we. However, we recognise that this arrangement doesn’t go nearly far enough to helping live performance artists build a sustainable business or career. We’re constantly thinking of ways we can reduce costs to artists, build partnerships on their behalf, and rally our loyal community behind them, so that they can keep bringing us the good stuff - stories, laughs and a great night out.


Our core purpose is to support sustainable careers for Aotearoa’s live performance artists. We achieve this through the support of our funders, Basement Lovers (donors), Basement Mates (members), audience, and community. During Basement Reunited, this purpose is more important than ever. You can help us to support our artistic community by:

●  Becoming a Basement Mate or Basement Lover

●  Attending our 2020 Christmas Show fundraiser

●  Buying a special priced $35 donation ticket to our Basement Reunited season

●  Coming down to Basement to buy a drink! (All profits go to our charity)