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Pricing

Should Live Entertainment Be $1?

Chris Jones believes that the arts and live entertainment industry should abandon the middle class in favor of serving the high end and the low end. He believes this because this is the way that the rest of the economy is going, in his view, and therefore it's incumbent for live entertainment to follow suit.The metaphor he uses is the Dollar Tree store, where all kinds of potentially useful and high-quality stuff is sold for a dollar. He asks,...

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News

Why Having Diverse Sources of Funding Equals Success

This is a fascinating story from the Globe and Mail about public theater funding in Canada right now. To summarize, the total amount to be given to theater organizations has been the same for several years, so the question is how to distribute it.One theory is give it to the big guys, who've proven they can use it.Another theory is give it to the new guys, who need it to get going and who can bring new vitality into...

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Bright Ideas

Crowdfunding for Shows Is Here to Stay. Just Ask Mr. Toad.

Julian Fellowes, the writer of Downton Abbey among others, has successfully crowdfunded 1 million pounds to add to 6 or 7 million more pounds from traditional investors to develop a new musical based on The Wind in the Willows.Live entertainment productions are the ideal target for crowdfunding because the fixed costs of a show represent so much of its budget, and because crowdfunders can so easily be rewarded for their investments with tickets. It's an ideal situation, really.Of course,...

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Technology

The iBeacon: What It Is and What to Do About It

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about a technology that will be part of the live event experience very, very soon.It’s called iBeacon. Developed by Apple, this technology makes it possible to set up very small, very low-power transmitters in a venue (or anywhere) that can find and transmit information to iOS (Apple) phones.How might something like this work? I walk into Dodger Stadium with my iPhone 5s, and I have already downloaded a certain app (in this...

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Experience

Food IS Entertainment

Years ago, I declared that food had become entertainment, but at that point it was still pretty crude. The occasional appearance by a celebrity chef, or a class on how to roll sushi, that kind of thing.We’re way past that now, and if you’re in the business of either producing or selling live entertainment, you need to pay attention to this.The All-Star Chef Classic is a weekend of events being held in Los Angeles in March that, despite being...

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Marketing

How a Show Benefits From Being Shareable

Once a show or event becomes "cool," tickets get easier to sell. As marketers of live entertainment, we know this instinctively. Celebrities courtside at a team's games or long lines of well-dressed, attractive people outside a venue show the world that somebody thinks these events are special in that slightly magical way that makes them more than just good entertainment value for the money.In fact, once a show becomes "cool," the value equation changes a lot. Instead of price...

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News

Not Feeling the Risk of Others

I saw Matilda in New York recently and loved it. Then again, I'm a fan of Roald Dahl's books and Tim Minchin's music and comedy, so I was probably an easy mark.But I'm not alone. Roald Dahl's work was the basis for generation-spanning hit books and blockbuster movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox and others. He wrote a Bond movie screenplay and the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

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Experience

Why You Should Come to TEDxBroadway Next Monday

If you can make it, I strongly encourage you to get yourself down to New World Stages in New York City next Monday for TEDxBroadway 2014!If you do, you’ll be participating in a day that’s all about sharing interesting, provocative, possibly crazy, possibly brilliant ideas for the future of the Broadway ecosystem. True to the TED mission, TEDxBroadway is about "Ideas Worth Spreading." We’ll have about 20 brilliant presenters on the stage and another 500 or so brilliant people...

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Experience

Word Stock Update: Immersive Gets Mainstream Media Attention

A couple weeks ago, I suggested you hold your stock in the word “Immersive." If you did, you’re looking at big imaginary profits today as it continues to get discussed in larger and larger outlets.Time’s Richard Zoglin asks “Has Theater Lost Its Mind?” as the trend toward these immersive shows grows in New York and around the country. Of course, he’s being tongue-in-cheek, and he gets it right when it comes to answering why these productions are working. He...

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Marketing

Take Your Work From the Theater to the World Stage

Last Valentine's Day, Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, asked people everywhere to put on their dancing shoes and boogie to show solidarity and draw attention to the injustices that affect women and girls around the world. This year -- today -- "thousands of events will take place in hundreds of countries and on six continents," according to this Huffington Post article. It's all part of Ensler's One Billion Rising Live (which will livestream these events),...

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