Purchasing event tickets from local retailers and using physical printed tickets seems to be on the way out, replaced by large corporations selling e-tickets and QR codes. However, there is one iconic Bristol shop where you can still go old school and support an independent business.
We spoke to Bristol local Aisha Crawford, who runs the Bristol Ticket Shop – the city’s leading independent ticket sales organisation. She gives us an insight into the struggles facing a small independent local business in the face of such competition. She also tells us why she loves Bristol and Bristol Pound.
Keep an eye out for their brand new website coming soon!
What do you do/sell and why?
We sell tickets for events around Bristol; from gigs and club nights to festivals and theatre events.
What makes your business unique?
We are one of the only independent ticket shops left in the entire UK. A lot of ticket sales tend to be handled online nowadays, with Bristol Ticket Shop you can order online or come in and chat to one of our friendly, helpful staff.
Are you from Bristol?
I am Bristol born and bred. I grew up in the St Pauls area of Bristol and bought a flat in the same area as I love it so much!
What do you love about Bristol? And what do you love about your job?
I love Bristol for the people, and the atmosphere. I think Bristol is such a unique, vibrant and colourful city and very hard not to fall in love with. There is so much going on all the time. Everything is easily accessible, from theatres, museums, restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas and so on. There is something for everyone, and for a built up city, it is so easy to find beautiful green spaces.
I love my job because Bristol Ticket Shop is such an integral part of the Bristol music scene and we are a Bristol institution.
How did you start your business?
My mother actually started the business back in 1988 as a small concession in Virgin records, and then expanded from there.
I inherited the business, along with my brother, when our mother retired last year, but had been working here for 15 years by then.
How do you keep it going?
We are very lucky to have the support of local venues and promoters who provide us with allocations of tickets. But most importantly, we are still here because of our loyal customers.
What are the challenges of running an independent business?
The main challenge we face is festivals and larger events signing exclusive deals with big ticketing companies and excluding smaller agents like ourselves. This is unfortunate as a lot of people prefer physical ticket stock and it means that we are unable to provide this to our customers and have to send them elsewhere.
What made you sign up to accept Bristol Pounds? What do you like about the scheme?
We like the ethos of Bristol Pounds and feel that it is important to support local independent businesses and keep the high street alive!
Where do you spend your Bristol Pounds?