We're not walking back into the same arts and cultural landscape that we left last summer, or even the one we vacated way back at the beginning of 2020. But we are going back and, while this is a first tentative moment of great excitement for venues and audiences alike, we will need to arm ourselves with as much information as possible to face the many unknowns about returning audiences that will persist for months to come. Who are they? What do they want? And how will they respond to cultural venues and sites when they are welcomed back?
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
— Terry Pratchett