Classical Music

Survey Results: Ticket prices

What Would You Pay?

Knowing I’m skipping around, questions 8 and 9 (shown below in reverse order) asked about ticket prices.  Question 8 asked how much the survey taker paid the last time they attended a concert.  Question 9 then tried to put that into perspective by asking what they thought a ticket to see the Columbus Symphony Orchestra would cost.  The answers are – pardon the pun – right on the money.

Well done, Columbus.  You have a really good idea of how much it costs to go to the CSO.  For any of the classical music (Masterworks) concert series, most everyone is correct about the price of tickets.  And yes – this was a trick question as there are multiple price points for CSO tickets.

Question 9: How much do you think it costs to attend a classical music concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra?
$26-$50 102 58%
$51-$75 36 20%
$0 – $25 30 17%
$76-$100 7 4%
More than $100 2 1%

As 95% of our respondents indicated, the vast majority of the tickets range from $25-$75 in price.  Tickets for special events, such as the upcoming Gala fundraiser featuring Lang Lang on the piano for Prokofiev’s 3rd are naturally a little higher, but overall, I think everyone has a good idea of pricing.

This is a good thing, especially considering the CSO has priced its tickets in such a way so as to be both affordable and a good value considering the high caliber of musicians performing.

And this may just be a fan talking, but our symphony is really good and it’s well worth the price of these tickets to go see them perform!

Now this particular survey question centers on the CSO knowing despite the fact that there are other concert possibilities in town.  Back in May I went to a concert of a clarinet, 4 strings quintet and paid $8 online for my ticket at the McConnell Arts Center.  Still had CSO musicians, but was just a smaller ensemble.  Great performance, too!

Now back to the CSO and while most everyone gets an A, there is a slight catch.  Figures, right?  Here it is: the 30 people who answered $0-$25 are indeed correct, but they cease to be so as soon as they decide to order tickets online by way of Ticketmaster.  As soon as they do, the ticket price will jump up by about 1/3 making a $25 ticket actually cost about $33.65.

Earlier this month, my $20 HMS Pinafore ticket actually cost me $28.65 once Ticketmaster added in its “convenience” ($3.90) and “order processing” ($4.75) fees, even though I did all the work, including printing the ticket, myself.   That’s an additional $8.65 per order – whether you order 1 ticket, as I often do, or multiple tickets.  Grr!  I definitely plan to delve into this topic later.

How much was your last concert?

Question 8: How much did you spend on tickets the last time you attended a musical or concert? (Any kind of music – rock, classical, jazz, country, etc.)
$0 – $50 95 54%
$51-$75 49 28%
$76-$100 19 11%
More than $100 14 8%

As the above responses indicate, our Columbus friends like to go to concerts and 144 out of 177 of the respondents said they spend up to $75 for tickets which is perfect considering that’s about how much they would need to spend to attend a symphony concert.  So what is the CSO doing to draw these people into the Ohio and Southern Theatres?  I don’t know.

I know print ads occasionally appear in the Columbus Dispatch, which is great for the baby boomer demographic already buying tickets (and print versions of the paper) but what about my generation (Gen-Xers) and the one after me (The Millennials) who read our news online?  What’s being done to appeal to us and draw us in to classical music concerts?  I mean, not everyone has a Dad like mine who played nothing but J.S. Bach (and Barbra Streisand) my entire childhood!  Though they really should because my Dad’s pretty awesome.  That said, I just don’t know what’s being done, but I do look forward to finding out.  🙂  I’m especially interested to see how the new music director and concertmaster, once chosen, are presented to the Columbus community at large.

The musicians themselves are already doing a great job.  They’ve all spent years studying music and learning how to play their instruments very well.  You don’t get a position playing for a professional orchestra unless you’re very good, so patrons are always sure to see a great performance.

In the meantime, we’ve identified that people here in Columbus do indeed go to concerts and the amount of money they spend for those performances equals what would be spent for a CSO concert.  So – What do you say, folks?  Try some classical music next time around?

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