In the Age Of COVID, Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention

Orchestras that aren’t shuttered through 2021 face a similar challenge in that they need to identify venues that meet local, state, and national safety guidelines. The trouble with that is many don’t own their own facility and as the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra recently learned, an owner can pull the rug out from under you in short notice.

For orchestras in milder climates, outdoor stadium venues offer unique potential. They want renters, orchestras need outdoor venues and under the right circumstances it can be a win-win scenario.

On September 05, 2020 the Tulsa Symphony held their opening night concert featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman at ONEOK Field, a minor league baseball stadium. In Orlando, the Orlando Phil is taking a similar approach by holding their opening concert on September 26, 2020 at Exploria Stadium, a major league soccer stadium.

Am I missing anyone?

Hopefully, these initial efforts will begin producing some data that can be shared with the field as a whole.

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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