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Viewpoint: A quarter the audience at four times the cost

A case study has revealed large concert halls would need to charge four times the usual ticket price in order to break even if opened under social distancing rules.

The study, by Zach Finkelstein in Middleclass Artist, looked at the 2,625-capacity Boston Symphony Hall, which found that the venue would need to operate at a quarter of its capacity and sell just under 500 tickets to be in line with social distancing rules.

The Boston Symphony, according to its 2017-2018 financial report, sells out about 81% of the 96 concerts in their BSO Winter Season, or around 2,100 seats a concert. A mid-tier BSO Symphony Hall subscription ticket costs about $57 a concert.

If the Boston Symphony were to switch from a 2,625-seat model to the social distancing model, they would lose the capacity to seat 77% of their current audience.

For the 96 concerts in the BSO’s Winter Season, about 16% of their yearly programming, the social distancing ticket model could result in a drop of nearly $9m in a few months.

In order to maintain the same revenue as last season, the venue would need to charge $265 a ticket, over four time the average price of $57.

Check out the full article here to find out more about the case study.

Image: Tim Sackton