San Francisco Symphony Mixes in Old With New

Awhile back Jim talked about How to Resolve the Battle Between the New and the Familiar. On the topic, he said:

“What do you call something, even if it’s good, that you’ve seen over and over again? Boring.

What do you call something so new and different that it doesn’t make any sense to you? Weird.

Most live entertainment content falls in between those poles, of course, but as a creator, curator or marketer of stuff in your venue, which is better? Which should you go for if what you’re trying to do is build your audience?

Here’s the formula that works best: one part familiar to two parts new.

The familiar grounds the audience (or potential audience) enabling them to reach out to the new. The new, on the other hand, drives the emotional connection, the excitement and the conversation-worthiness of the event.”

One example of a live entertainment group embracing this idea is the San Francisco Symphony with their SoundBox performances. The events mix inventive cocktails, lounge-style seating and time to mingle with short and intense performances of symphony music. It’s not a night out at a bar and it’s not an evening at the symphony, but rather a blend of the two.

The San Francisco Examiner says the goal is “to attract a new, different audience, as well as VIPs from the arts, politics and society.”

This is a brilliant way to mix familiar with new for both groups. If you’re a long-time symphony fan, then you’ll enjoy the familiarity of the music and be attracted by the new intimate setting. If you’re a symphony newbie but a regular at cocktail lounges, then you’ll feel at home in the SoundBox and intrigued by the unfamiliar music.

The first concert has already been a success, and it’ll be exciting to see how this event evolves and continues its mix of new and familiar. You can read the full story about the show here. 

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