In response to my article Where Have All The Audiences Gone, a reader, and a keen concert-goer, makes this response:
First, we need a functioning transport system at a price that normal people can afford. We need trains outside London running 24/7 as tube and bus has inside London for years.
Second, we need to radically reduce the “cost of experience”. I have no issue with venues making a profit but a sandwich in Waitrose is about £3 so a 10% uplift would seem reasonable – say £3.50. Drinks likewise. And have everything open! Covid is being used as excuse for poor customer service – plain-as.
Tickets – bring the cost down and fill all the seats. The Proms was a case in point – much better to have ALL the seats filled for £10 each rather than the 50% empty I witnessed. I found £44 stalls seats for the Labeque Sisters on StubHub for £11, a sure sign that the market has collapsed. Have transport-included/subsidised offers – buy two tickets for concert X and get the associated rail fare for 50%.
And start giving out tickets for students and children for free via schools and heavily reduced for their responsible adults – get young, really young people back just as the Schools Opera and Robert Meyer concerts did for my generation.
And. Stop Talking about COVID! My view is that our reaction to it was totally overblown, likely to kill more people through a depressed economy than the illness itself. My generation (50s) has always been the cultural backbone audience and so many that I know have taken Covid as an excuse to curl-up into early retirement. I rage against the dying of that light.
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