Primary tabs

Phillyfunguide launches Turn Your Cell Phone On!, the region’s first live audience review service

Phillyfunguide launches Turn Your Cell Phone On!, the region’s first live audience review service

John McInerney
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; 610-551-4881

During the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Phillyfunguide will launch Turn Your Cell Phone On!, a live review service that will allow attendees at select shows to text instant reviews from their cell phones.  The reviews will be displayed live at the performance, as well as online at and  The new campaign is an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and is funded through the PNC Arts Alive grant initiative.

The Turn Your Cell Phone On! campaign will provide feedback to other potential attendees and encourage deeper audience engagement during the Live Arts Festival.  This pilot program will be replicated by the Cultural Alliance at other arts and culture venues during the 2009-2010 season.

“We see this as a fun and easy way to engage cultural consumers,” says Peggy Amsterdam, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “Just as TripAdvisor is valuable for travelers, the Phillyfunguide Turn Your Cell Phone On! campaign is our latest effort to provide useful and timely event information for the public.”

The program uses SMS, or texting technology, which is available on the majority of consumer mobile phones. In the future, consumers will also be able to vote using Twitter or mobile web devices. The Cultural Alliance will not charge for submitting a text comment and no personal data will be collected from participants. The goal is to encourage audience participation.

Participants can select one of 5 ratings for each show, from “Amazing” to “Not So Great”*. Audiences can also add more detailed reviews on

“At the Festival, there are always so many shows to choose from in a very compressed timeframe,” said Robin Barnes, Marketing Director at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe “This is another useful way audiences can share their feedback with others.”

“This is the kind of pioneering project that puts Philadelphia at the forefront nationally,” said Bill Mills, president of PNC for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.  “Turn Your Cell Phone On! is perfectly aligned with our goals for PNC Arts Alive to promote audience participation and innovative use of technology,”

Phillyfunguide is an online events calendar produced by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. It includes information on thousands of leisure events and attractions. Listings include ticketing information, detailed descriptions, directions, reviews, videos and more. Nearly two dozen cultural, tourism, and media organizations partner with Phillyfunguide, including the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, WXPN, the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, and Dance/USA Philadelphia. A complete list of partners is available at

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival Turn Your Cell Phone On! Participating Performances:

Theater Artists
Pig Iron Theatre Company, Welcome to Yuba City

Music/Multi-media Artists

Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips, 13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests

Dance Artists
Brian Sanders/JUNK, Urban Scuba
Cie. Willi Dorner, above under inbetween
kate watson-wallace/anonymous bodies, STORE
Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, Kill Me Now
Merián Soto/Performance Practice, Postcards from the Woods

For more information on the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, taking place September 4-19, please visit

Turn Your Cell Phone On! is a project of Phillyfunguide and PNC Arts Alive, a five-year, $5 million initiative to support the visual and performing arts through innovative audience engagement.  

Support for Phillyfunguide is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.
PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation with a goal to increase engagement in the arts, develop new audiences and make the arts more accessible to diverse communities in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and Southern New Jersey.
“The PNC Foundation has a long history of supporting the arts which strengthen and enrich the lives of people in our community,” said PNC’s Bill Mills. “We understand the valuable return that investing in organizations such as the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance can deliver. Today more than ever, the businesses we attract, the jobs we create and the visitors who extend their stay are drawn by what the region has to offer.”
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) ( is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.

*Choices for Live Arts Festival shows are Amazing, Very Good, I Liked It, It Had Its Moments, and Not So Great.