Desk jockey seeking quality life-work balance with the occasional adventure thrown in.
No regrets. Ever.
Published February 24th 2016
Would you go out more if it was free?
On The House began in Melbourne over 10 years ago, offering free or discounted promotional tickets to live performances. Over the years, it has expanded to now be a national service, and includes not only top theatre events but also movies, expos and events.
Here's how it works - promoters supply tickets to On The House who then pass them onto members, either with an admin fee (Bronze members only, this is waived for Gold members) or at a significant discount. Bronze is free, gives you access to some events by paying an admin fee to obtain the tickets; Gold costs $55.90 (membership lasts 8 months), you have access to all events and the admin fee is waived. Mostly, the offering is for a double pass - so you get to bring your partner or a friend along.
If you've been to an event, you're required to leave a review on OTH's website - this can then be used by promoters for feedback (one lucky member in Melbourne was invited to a theatre company's workshops and rehearsals to improve the show).
Members are sent regular newsletters advising them of upcoming events - it is a first come, first served basis for tickets, so do ensure you're signed up. Events are listed by state (you cannot apply for those outside your state of residence) - at time of writing, South Australian events included discounted tickets to "Good Mourning Mrs Brown", and free* tickets to 4 Fringe Events. There are also movie passes, with promotion of available tickets in coming days to the Alliance Francais Film Festival.
Past Adelaide events have included comedy nights, top theatre at the Festival Centre, movies, local theatre companies, cabaret, fringe (including top 2016 Fringe Act Velvet), foreign film festivals, kids shows. You can check the reviews on the website for full details.
To share my own personal experience - I joined in 2013, going to see Stomp as the first (free) show. I've seen films, I've seen jazz, I've seen classical music performances, dance (Kostroma), theatre (Bakehouse Theatre and State Theatre Company shows) and my all time favourite was Thriller Live. I've had a lot of fun, and seen shows that I wasn't sure about but ended up loving.
We all look for ways to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget, On The House is certainly one option to access a quality night out without breaking the piggy bank. Gold Members frequently end up with savings of more than the cost of the membership, but if you're not sure, why not sign up as a Bronze Member and trial it for a while.