The Proms sold 80,000 tickets on opening day. That is, by any standard, incredible. Furthermore, they will also expect to sell 1,000+ on the day of the concerts!
(more info and stats here)
- Would this be possible if the Proms ran all year around? No, I don't think so.
- But wait... isn't the Proms just a festival of the best 'classical' music? Yes, yes it is.
- Can we agree that there is clearly a very real, very engaged and very loyal fanbase out there for the Proms? I think we can.
- Isn't this audience only interested in classical music for two months of the year? No, I don't think they are, either. But maybe they realise that during those two months of the year, the best possible music is going to performed by the best possible people; something remarkable will happen.
Does this sound familiar? Isn't this what happens with a Coldplay tour? Of course, with the escalating cost of touring, it isn't sustainable for a full orchestra to tour as long and as hard as Coldplay, but perhaps starting at home they could look at ways to address this...
Has classical music made itself too cheap? Too available? I'm not suggesting we all stop performing bar two months of the year, but perhaps we should be more mindful of where, when and why we perform...