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Inna in $ Financial Freedom Chasers,

Why are orchestra concert tickets so expensive? How much does it cost to put on a concert?

Every time an orchestra puts up a performance, the organization has to pay for the following things (just naming some):

  • Artist Fees per concert
  • Space rental costs
  • Tech/production support (lighting, etc)
  • Marketing (brochures, postcards, social media, program books, etc)
  • Administrative costs (board of directors, designer, box office staff, ushers, security guards, etc)

Here's a generous scenario:

A small space of 300 seats sells $50 tickets for a series of 3 chamber orchestra concerts. Assuming every ticket is sold out and there are no discounts, the house will make $15K per night. That's $45K in ticket sales for the entire series.

Now, let's look at expenses. Assuming it's an orchestra of 25 musicians, and every musician gets $200 a night (this would be an “okay” price under the American Federation of Musician's Union), $15K a night have to be spent just to pay the musicians. That's $45K in artists fees for the entire series.

Let's assume the space rental is $10,000 for renting 3 full days (not simply 2 hours per night but also including dress rehearsal time before each show begins), marketing costs $2K, and administrative costs are $30K (there are a lot of people in that to pay), and tech support is $5K

Add this all up: $45K+$10K+$2K+$30K +$5K = $92K.

It costs $92,000 for the organization to put up these 3 concerts. As mentioned above, we're assuming every ticket sold out so the money coming in is $45K. The ticket sales alone make less than 50% of money required to put on the concert.