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Bright Ideas

Why The Death of an Arts Org Is Like a Plane Crash

Howard Sherman compares the death of an arts organization to an airplane crash, and I think it’s a very strong metaphor. Here’s the key tidbit:“…a crash doesn’t occur because of any single event. Typically, they emanate from some failure which then triggers others.”Likewise, he says that, “arts organizations crash because of event cascades as well. It is rarely a single unforeseen occurrence which brings down companies; it is a series of actions, or lack thereof, that result in closure.”Of...

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Experience

Halloween Goes Immersive, Big Holiday to Sell More

Adding more momentum to the 'immersive' trend in live entertainment, this year's Halloween events blur the line between attraction and show. I think it's great because today's audiences are, more than their predecessors, interested in being part of the show. The success of Sleep No More or Then She Fell suggest that merging show and participatory media work very well presuming, of course, that they're done right. By the way, Halloween events are a big deal, and I think...

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News

How to Keep Your Product Fresh? Don’t Overuse It

Hell has apparently frozen over again. This will be a successful tour, undoubtedly, because the Eagles have an amazing back catalog and have toured so infrequently. As Stewart Copeland of the Police told me in an interview a couple years ago, the secret to the absurd level of success of the tour by The Police a few years ago came from the fact that the band remained "pristine," and had not toured for years and years, despite the high...

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Fans

Be the Jackie Chan of Live Entertainment

For those of you who don’t know Jackie Chan, he’s a very famous action hero and martial artist, best known in America for the Rush Hour movie series, but even more famous in Asia.Here’s a truly archetypal Jackie Chan moment.If you’re pressed for time, skip the first minute or so, and go straight to the fighting. As you watch it, take note: There’s no CGI here. Chan does all his own stunts.Of course, the acting could be better, but...

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News

Grow Your Attendance With an Audience Orientation

It feels like you could just cut and paste this story from year to year, doesn’t it? But, if you’re in our business, even if you’re not in the arts, this should concern you. If you’re here, it’s because you want to sell out your venue, and if you don’t really care about that because your nonprofit feels that worrying about selling tickets is too crass for words, then how about this notion?If you were selling out, these numbers...

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Experience

Bigger Venues Providing Better Experiences

As a rule, smaller, better venues at higher prices will succeed as compared to larger, worse venues, even those that are so big that there will be very inexpensive tickets available there. Bruno Mars in Las Vegas in a 3,000-seat house should command some pretty decent prices, and a lot of people will walk out of that show having been dazzled by their experience. I see this trend continuing and extending. Someone will build a 400-seat venue that delivers...

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Fans

Designate a Day for Taking Pictures With Cast

The headline reads: Joe Manganiello calls out audience photographer during A Streetcar Named Desire. And remember, Joe can turn into a werewolf if he gets angry, so for all of our sakes, refrain from the urge to take pictures. The other side of this, of course, is that some people love your shows enough to want to take pictures of them. Here’s an idea to borrow from your brothers and sisters in baseball: Have a picture day! Major League...

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News

Who’s to Blame? AEG Wanted MJ Healthy, Happy

The basics of this are that MJ’s family sued AEG for hiring the doctor who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael’s death because the family considered AEG negligent for hiring a doctor they should have known was trouble. AEG had said that Jackson chose Murray, but the jury disagreed: They decided that AEG had in fact hired the doctor, but that AEG wasn’t negligent in doing so.If you recall, the tour that would have been sold faster than...

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P&L

Revenue Up, Attendance Down on Broadway

Broadway producer (and Selling Out friend) Ken Davenport analyzes the first 13 weeks of the Broadway 2013-14 season … and he’s not happy. Though revenue is up .3% (Don’t spend that all in one place!), attendance is down 8.7%, which is on a base of attendance, which dropped 6.2%. Ken says, “I’m not sounding the alarm bells just yet, but I definitely have my finger on my ‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up’ button.” OK, Ken’s alarm system sounds...

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Pricing

Louis C.K. & Kid Rock: Are they “generous” to their fans?

Both Louis C.K. and Kid Rock have gotten attention in the last year for charging much less than market value for tickets to their shows. In Kid Rock’s case, tickets are just $20 for this summer’s tour, and in both cases, shows sold out extremely quickly as a result of the pricing, and, I would add, the massive publicity about the pricing.So, are they being “generous” to their fans with these low prices, as some feel, or do they,...

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