San Francisco arts groups consider impact of tech field’s work-from-home policies on audience attendance

Posted on: November 17, 2021

“As live performance finally returns after the pandemic shutdown, cultural institutions are confronting a long list of unknowns,” writes Adam Nagourney in Monday’s (11/15) New York Times. “Have people grown so accustomed to watching screens in their living rooms that they will not get back into the habit of attending live events? And how will the advent of work-from-home policies, which have emptied blocks of downtowns and business districts, affect weekday attendance at theaters and concert halls? … In San Francisco … tech companies have led the way in embracing work-from-home policies and flexible schedules…. Going to a weeknight show is no longer a matter of leaving the office and swinging by the War Memorial Opera House or the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall…. Arts groups are trying to gauge what the embrace of more flexible work-from-home policies will mean for their ability to draw audiences…. Economists see the trend of remote work persisting…. Attendance [at the San Francisco Symphony] in October was down 11 percent compared to before the pandemic, but the symphony said advance sales were strong, suggesting normal audiences might return in spring.” Read findings from the League of American Orchestras’ data partnerships concerning audience attitudes and behavior with Wolf Brown, TRG, and Slover Linett at COVID-19 Data Partnerships – americanorchestras.org.