an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

$25 buys you a whole concert season

They tried it with college students in Detroit and it worked.

Now Baltimore’s matching the offer: all the music you can eat, led by Marin Alsop, for the price of a restaurant meal (no wine).

Read here.

Prom 45, BBC Proms 2012

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Cleveland’s doing this for the second year, now, with their Frequent Fan card.

  2. Sarah Niblack says:

    That’s a very cool effort – I hope it’s successful for them! (And then after, that they find a way to steward their new fans into paying full price…)

    One organization that has been a pioneer in getting young bums in seats (and keeping them) is Enjoy the Arts from Cincinnati, OH.

    Fueled by an arts community that works as a team (just look at how their orchestra negotiates their contracts!), a cultural heritage richer than many American cities, and an arts council ( that fosters a collaborative and community approach (while creating direct connections and funding from the corporate community) – Enjoy the Arts is the effective expression of audience development in the larger puzzle of a thriving arts environment.

    Its great to see other midwestern cities starting to take their future by storm – and starting with the symphony is an encouraging (and validating) first step. (Then they just need to get those opportunities into the welcome packets of college students, new hires and new residents! More culture = higher quality of life => stronger economy and happier people.)

    Way to go Boston (not midwestern, but knows what’s up), Cleveland, and Detroit!

  3. This is a terrific program—the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has had a Class Pass student program (also $25 unlimited, or $10 rush tickets), and it’s been a great way to make attending concerts more feasible for college students. We found that when we held College Night last season and provided bus transportation from area colleges, the response was tremendous.

  4. The Philadelphia Orchestra has been offering a similar program (EZseatU) to college students for a number of years now, but their free college nights and receptions are open to all college students regardless of EZseatU membership. A very limited number of student tickets are also available at the box office before each performance for the old price of $8. The “unlimited” aspect is very nice if you manage to be able to take advantage of it, but because you get your student rush vouchers online what ends up happening is that they “sell” out very quickly and the number of students who actually attend the concerts are far fewer than the number of vouchers released online through the program. This low cost of $25 for a season really reflects the dire financial situations these orchestras are faced with, and even as a poor college student I never remember complaining about paying out $8 per world-class performance. I wonder what the difference in financial gain for the two programs is and if the number of subscriptions actually increases attendance or if orchestras benefit more noticeably from people who subscribe and the never get around to hearing a concert. I’d also be interested in the effects of a program that offers a $25/yr companion ticket to a full priced subscription for adult concert goers or an EZseatU-type of program for high schoolers instead of college-aged kids.

  5. This is a laudable act, but I wonder whether it is a financially responsible model; many commentators have ascribed SPCO’s recent financial problems to a policy of substantially reducing ticket prices that had started in 2009.[*] $25 for a whole season (admittedly, excluding “premium events”, which comprise about 10% of “scheduled concerts”) sounds absurdly cheap (I think I am right in saying it works out as considerably cheaper than the standing tickets at the BBC Proms), so I cannot help feeling that a parallel with Timon of Athens is apposite. The modern obsession with attracting “young” audiences, at all costs, is potentially ruinous.


  6. Great efforts to recognise those who attempt to get a good degree, get more youth to attend concerts, hope for financial support by those who profit now and are are well off in a few years, fill empty seats, … I can’t think of a negative.

    Why aren’t more such efforts made in places where the local orchestras seldomly sell out?

  7. What a great idea, both to make concert going affordable for students and to coax them into the house to become regulars over time. Makes this old guy eager to sign up for more college – would classes at the Roosevelt School for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration qualify? After all a guy has also got to have the skills in this market to be able to pay the rent.

an ArtsJournal blog