A Glimpse Into Alt Performance Activity During The Pandemic

There’s a thought-provoking article by Jim Farber in the 7/14/2020 edition of sfcv.org of his review of the Mainly Mozart festivals performance via drive in movie facility.

The location checks off all the boxes needed to satisfy patron health and safety concerns while simultaneously providing its own set of unique logistical challenges.

What’s particularly interesting is in addition to utilizing the drive-in’s native radio frequency Mainly Mozart opted to use sound system. On the surface, that may sound a bit janky but speaking as someone who lives walking distance to what is arguably the single best amplified outdoor classical music venue in the world, The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, amplified classical music can produce a spectacular environment.

Simply put, I’ve enjoyed my share of remarkable concert experiences at that venue so I’m entirely confident saying that amplified live classical music is a solid option.

At the same time, venues capable of producing that level of quality are few and far between. So, depending on how long the pandemic lasts, we may see rapid advances in this area of acoustic expertise sooner than later.

In the meantime, early efforts like this are a good thing and Farber’s piece is a good place to begin learning about.

As I’ve been saying since 2003:

Change can be difficult. Change can be turbulent. Change can be painful.
Change brings success. Change brings order. Change brings comfort.

Most importantly, change is necessary for survival.

If you want the less touchy-feely version: “adapt or die.”

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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