Blueyard Programming

Andrew Aughton’s programming experience is second to none. In 15 years as CEO of Buxton Opera House, he expanded their venues from one to five, overseeing the building of a completely new venue (Pavilion Arts Centre) and increasing annual performances from 250 to 800.  By 2013, the venue had generated box office and fundraising income of £50m+ in 15 years, and made six-figure profits for over a decade. Since 2014, Andrew has represented Blueyard as Artistic Programmer for 12 different venues, operated by five client partners:

  • Town Hall, Pillar Room, Pittville Pump Room (Cheltenham)
  • Secombe Theatre, Back Door (Sutton), Cryer Theatre (Carshalton)
  • Guild Hall, Charter Theatre, LiVe (Preston)
  • Robert Bolt Theatre & Chambers (Waterside, Sale)
  • New Theatre Royal (Lincoln)

Blueyard continues to work with Cheltenham, Lincoln, Preston & Sale. Here’s what each had to say of our impact on their venue:

Andrew has revolutionised the artistic programming of the Town Hall, bringing with him a massive knowledge of the industry and a huge network of contacts, which has doubled our number of annual shows. His commercial acumen and detailed knowledge of how deals work and how to get the best out of them has both saved us money and earned us money. Our net profit from Town Hall promotions has quadrupled since he joined us.

– Chris Foster, former Entertainment & Business Manager, Cheltenham Town Hall

Andrew has provided Programming services to Waterside since August 2016. During that time, Andrew has proved to be well connected, managing excellent relationships with promoters and tour bookers. His financial forecasting around show deals is extremely strong and provides us with both confidence and a deep understanding as to the potential of our artistic programme. He is creative in his approach to programming and thrives on finding new work, utilising his wide network of contacts to develop the artistic offering here at Waterside.

– Darren Adams, Arts Centre Manager, Waterside Arts Centre (Sale)

Andrew started working with us on our artistic programme in 2016, operating alongside our small team of in-house programmers, and charged with the task of finding shows and promoters with whom we were not already working. He has brought around 40 new promoters and their shows to our roster, which has increased the range, variety and quality of our programme. He also supplies us (and all his clients) each brochure period, with an in-depth analysis of yield, retention and likely profit from every show and this has helped us tremendously in prioritising our marketing resources.

– Richard Simkin, General Manager, Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre

Andrew has been a real asset to the re-launch of the New Theatre Royal. Andrew was appointed from the outset (Sept 2016) due to his in-depth industry knowledge and personable approach. He has brought a range of quality commercial product to the venue; his industry knowledge and experience have been invaluable to us; and is he always at the end of a phone for discussion or support should we need him.

– Michael Hayes-Cowley, Managing Director, New Theatre Royal Lincoln

Through Andrew, Blueyard can offer arts organisations and venues an unrivalled knowledge of UK touring theatre and a wide range of invaluable commercial skills:

  • rigorous deal-making
  • access to a wide range of artists, performers and booking agents/contacts
  • commercial acumen (deal-making, understanding of all types of split and guarantee/first-call deals, plus ticket-yield, elements that can be off-the-top or recharged as contra, etc
  • VAT implications and savings for organisations with charitable status
  • creation of detailed systems for monitoring income against targets, variation of yield, retained box office share, points of break-even, points of movement into split, etc.
  • profit analysis based on deals and sales progress, enabling more accurate targeting of marketing spend and elimination of wastage
  • implication of contractual terms on sales and marketing practice
  • application and maximisation of contra
  • reduction of marketing spend by maximising saleability of a venue’s programme
  • detailed knowledge of venue settlements and how they can maximise venue income

We offer a 24/7 theatre and/or music programming service at competitive daily, weekly or annual rates. The profitability Blueyard brings to your organisation means guaranteed value-for-money – usually considerably better value than hiring a full-time member of staff to do the same task.

Contact us on 07983 281256 or at to find out more.