Detroit Press Conference

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra announced that it will conduct a press conference today, Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 10:30am ET. According to a press release, the purpose of the event is “to provide an update on the status of upcoming concerts and patron services.” What makes this a little bit different is they plan on broadcast the event live, via webcast at their website. UPDATE: my notes from the webcast are now available…

No additional details were provided but you can read the press release here. In the meantime, you might have noticed that there is now a Detroit Symphony Strike Watch widget located in the right sidebar. It will automatically keep track of the number of days the strike is in place as well as point to Adaptistration’s DSO article archive. It will stay up until strike is resolved.

UPDATE: 9:52am CT

Here is a transcript of my live tweets from the press conference. Keep in mind these are not transcriptions as much as the highlights I could fit into tweet format:

  • Very annoyed that the Detroit webcast doesn’t work with Firefox browsers AND has a 30 second ad upon loading!
  • Detroit webcast just cut out… 14 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit officially cancels concerts for this weekend. 12 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: still no video, audio only. 10 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Anne Parsons is currently reviewing ticket exchange options and asking for donations. 10 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: refunds are currently being honored. 9 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: DSO is still presenting all non orchestra activity including jazz programs, education programs, and rental engagements 8 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: next week’s concerts not yet cancelled. They will decide by Tuesday, 10/12/2010. 7 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: may have “exciting opportunity” available for ticket holders for this weekend. No details but some will be avail in 24hrs 6 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Q&A begins 6 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: still no video, audio only. Plus the feed cut out entirely in IE8. Having to listen in Opera. 5 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: question how do you think you can maintain world class status by cutting wages drastically. 4 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Anne Parsons response: we don’t have any evidence that cuts will produce drastic change. 3 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Parsons response: My belief is the 85 musicians are passionate and I think the potential is we’ll be better in the long run 2 minutes ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Parsons response: I believe the spirit of those participating determine the outcome. It’s probably that a successful DSO… 1 minute ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: Parsons response: …will involve a different financial structure 1 minute ago via web
  • Detroit webcast: no additional questions. Mention that the webcast will be posted online but the feed cut out before details were broadcast. less than 5 seconds ago via web

Apparently, the webcast will be made available at the DSO website but there are no details on when or where exactly it will be located. The webcast was audio only as the video component never functioned and I missed part of the press conference due to having to load the URL into three different browsers due to it cutting out so much.

There was apparently only one question and since there was no video, I have no idea how many were in attendance. According to the viewer count on the webcast media player, there were more than 300 at the onset but that number dropped consistently and substantially over the course of the conference (likely the result of the technical problems).

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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