Good news from the ISO! Last season's overall ticket and subscriptions sales rose considerably from the prior season. It took a concerted effort to bring more patrons into the Hilbert Circle Theatre, and the effort paid off. Sold tickets were up by 18 percent from the preceding season -- which of course endured a one-month lockout over a contract dispute. Still, with subscription levels at their highest in five years and new subscribers to the classical series concerts up fivefold from two years ago, we shouldn't make too much of that contract unpleasantness.
"Artistically, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has had much to celebrate this season," said Gary Ginstling, the ISO's CEO. "And these sales and attendance results confirm that there is a real buzz in our community about the ISO's performances. We are reaching more subscribers, patrons and students in every concert series and are confident that we will continue that trend with the programs we have planned for the coming season."
That 18 percent includes all Circle-Theatre events: Classical, Pops, symFUNy Sundays (family series), Happy Hour and Yuletide Celebration, plus special events. Moreover, the 2013-2014 subscription sales for the Classical, Pops and Family series went up by over 30 percent from the preceding season and by 16 percent from 2011-2012. The concerted effort I mentioned included reduced prices, resulting in selling a record 6,569 student tickets over last Sept. through this June, a 50 percent increase over the previous season. More student tickets were sold than over any similar time interval in ISO history.
A big part of the orchestra's subscription increase comes from new subscribers: up 126 percent over 2012-2013 for the Classical Series and a breathtaking 500 percent over the previous one. While the Pops and Yuletide series always do well, coming close to filling the hall every time, the Classical series is the symphony's raison d'être. That makes that series' increases the most needed, and justifies the orchestra's existence.