Some Good Questions On The Value Of Free

Yesterday’s article examining the value and impact of a free concert series like the Grant Park Music Festival produced a question from Charles, a professional orchestra musician, who asked “…how many of the people who attend the free concerts come back and pay money for tickets. The Knight study showed that very few people who come to free concerts will pony up for the paid ones…Word from our development department is that there is little to zero draw from these concerts to the concert hall.” Good question Charles…

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Little To No Value? I Don’t Think So…

It never ceases to astonish me how many managers (and even some musicians) have expressed the opinion that free concerts have little to no value. Nevertheless, when implemented properly, free concerts have the potential to do more for developing an audience and raising the level of appreciation for live orchestral music than just about any other tool available today. Case in point, the Grant Park Music Festival featuring the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus…

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TAFTO 2007 Contribution – James W. Palermo

Take A Friend To Orchestra is all about finding ways to help people who enjoy classical music share the event with friends. And having spent my first summer living in Chicago and taking advantage of the Grant Park Music Festival, I can safely say that there isn’t a combination of location, ensemble, atmosphere, and price that is better suited for introducing friends to orchestra concerts. After all, how can you beat an entire summer of a world class orchestra performing in a Frank Gehry designed venue with views of Lake Michigan in the heart of downtown Chicago all free of charge?

The entire GPMF enterprise does what they do so well, they make it look easy. As such, it should come as no surprise that GPMF General Director James Palermo’s contribution is the ideal piece to launch TAFTO, 2007. Enjoy…

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All About Grant Park

As the recipient of 50% of their revenue from government sources, the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois is the closest thing the U.S. has to a government sponsored ensemble. The organization utilizes a unique operational model worth taking a look at and they go a long way toward breaking down some commonly positions about how orchestral organizations function with regard to programming and attendance…

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