Summer festivals show strong attendance, financial stability

Posted on: August 17, 2010

“The numbers vary,” writes Kyle MacMillan in Sunday’s (8/15) Denver Post, “but the trend is clear—attendance at many of the dozens of summer classical music festivals across the country is on the rise, and budgets, for the most part, are staying in the black. The 10-week Tanglewood Music Festival, which is administered by the Boston Symphony, has seen its audiences grow by 7 percent since 2005, with last year’s turnout reaching 350,110. Ticket sales have increased 38 percent in the past five years at the smaller Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, with 19,225 people attending this summer’s six-week lineup, which concluded Aug. 6 with didgeridoo soloist William Barton. … ‘I don’t think that’s terribly surprising,’ said conductor Marin Alsop, who for 19 years has served as music director of the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, Calif. ‘They’re seasonal. They’re very specific in terms of mission, and they usually have a very loyal following.’ The smaller size and more nimble structure of these organizations also give them an advantage. Although they all have year-round administrative staffs, the bulk of their expenses are incurred only during the short duration of their offerings.”

Photo of Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall by Stu Rosner

Posted August 17, 2010