If San Diego’s New Outdoor Venue Sounds Half As Good As It Looks

I’ve been meaning to find the time to do a deep dive into San Diego Symphony’s (SDS) new outdoor venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. As of now, finding info online beyond surface level promotional material is hard to come by but that will likely change as we approach the inaugural event on 8/6/2021.

The San-Diego Union Tribune published a nice write-up by George Varga about the outdoor facility in their 5/21/21 edition but there’s precious little information about seating configurations, differences between sections, etc.

What I can say is the venue’s design seems to get an awful lot of inspiration from the Doomsday Machine from the classic 1967 Star Trek episode…and being a big Trek fan to begin with, that’s nothing but a draw for me.

I dare you say there isn’t a resemblance.

Rest assured, we’ll circle back to this after the SDS has some time to catch up to the myriad of pandemic driven event guidelines that seem to be changing hourly at this point.

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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