Saturday, July 02, 2005

LA Times Overly Harsh On LA Phil? You Be The Judge!

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedition/calendar/qtakes/cl-ca-artsnotes26.3jun26,0,6901155.story
http://www.artsjournal.com/adaptistration/archives/2005/07/using_good_news.html

The first linked story in the LA Times describes how the LA Phil is still a tough ticket to score in the new Disney Hall. The second story questions the LA Times 'slant' of the story. The main point made is:

Using Good News The Wrong Way

In a recent article of the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Reynolds, the increase in the number of tickets sold by the Los Angeles Philharmonic certainly paints the organization is a positive light.

The article points out that over the past three years, the orchestra has increased the number of tickets it sells (181,457 in 2002-2003 season to 302,428 in the 2004-2005 season) along with expanding the number of performances it offers (from 98 in the 2002-2003 season to 165 in the 2004-2005 season).

Using those figures, the LA Phil has experienced an overall increase in ticket sales of approximately 16%. That is absolutely good news and the LA Phil should be very proud of their accomplishments. In a perfect world, the LA Phil will continue to enjoy attendance figures of 95% or better without having to reduce their number of performances for years to come.

This is certainly good news for the LA Phil, a double digit increase in overall ticket sales over the past few years while also increasing the number of overall performances is a wonderful accomplishment.

So how can such good news get used in a negative way?

For the simple reason that the article seems to imply that in order to improve its 60% capacity rate, the LAP built their new hall with 831 less seats (or a 27% reduction in the number of available seats). Keep in mind the article does not state that overtly, but that's what I inferred

Now I did not get that implication when I first read the article, and I am not certain if I see that implication now. What do you think? But what really puzzles me is how ticket sales going from 181,457 to 302, 428.... is a 16% increase?

UPDATE! The 16% was a now corrected typo. It was a 66% increase.

3 comments:

Drew McManus said...

Hi Brady,

The 16% figure was a typo and is now corrected (with attribution to you for picking it up). I suppose the slant of the blog comes from what I've witnessed other orchestras doing over the years. there was a related article I posted several weeks back which might help make more sense out of it: http://www.artsjournal.com/adaptistration/archives/2005/03/why_reaching_10.html

I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

Best,
Drew

Brady Westwater said...

The corrected post now reads that the LA Phil has had a 66% increase in ticket sales, rather than 16%.

Cynthia Muller said...

The paragraphs below are from my local paper. I think it's good that the LA Phil's main home isn't totally dark during the months the orchestra is performing at the Hollywood Bowl. If people, such as tourists, are in the vicinity of the new concert hall during the summer and are particularly interested in actually attending a symphonic performance there, they'll have a chance to do that on at least a few days before the LA Phil's season begins in the fall.

(Pasadena Star News) The California Philharmonic Orchestra began its career playing outdoor summer concerts in the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia. The idea was to provide music to a new audience. Little doubt that the idea has been a success. Saturday night the orchestra, under its Music Director Victor Vener, begins its ninth season with the first of seven concerts at the Arcadia venue.

But that concert is only half the story. In addition to six concerts in Arcadia this season, the orchestra is also repeating five of those six programs in concerts on Sunday afternoons at Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles every two weeks during the summer season. The Cal Phil was the first orchestra besides the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform a series of concerts in the hall last year, and those concerts proved so popular more were scheduled this year.

http://www.calphil.org