Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Concert Questions

We have received a number of questions about the concert and we wanted to take this opportunity to answer them. If you think of others, please pose them in the comments section. We are currently unable to publish the comments we have received (due to a computer or program issue), but we wanted to make sure we addressed all of the questions that have been raised.

1) Have you sold all of the tickets?
While we have fully sold out of tickets for the first (1:30 PM) show, we do still have a few tickets for the second (5 PM) show available at all pricing levels- $50, $75, $150. (As of 8/28/09.)
As of 9/1/09, we have sold out of the $50 General Admission Tickets for the 5PM show but still have $75 and $150 tickets left.

2) I tried calling for a really long time on Saturday (or Tuesday) and couldn't get through- Why?
We apologize for this inconvenience. We were taking as many calls as we could. The SHS office only has two phone lines and we had two people taking calls on them all day. We also had volunteers downstairs in our gift shop selling tickets all day. As a small historic site, we are very new to the concert business and are learning as we go. Please be patient with us!

Also, if you gave up on Saturday or Tuesday, please do stop by or try giving us a call back. It is much calmer here now and we do still have seats left. (We are open Tuesday - Saturday, 9:30AM - 4:00PM.)

3) Aren't you concerned about using the Meeting House for a fundraiser?
Our first priority is to protect and maintain these very historically significant Shaker buildings and educate the public about their importance. When Natalie Merchant offered to do a concert for us, we saw this as an opportunity to bring in funds that would help us meet these goals and raise public awareness of this site. Already, many people who had never visited the Shaker Heritage Society have stopped by to pick up their tickets and tour the site. This event will also encourage people to see this site not only as a museum, but also as a dynamic community resource, offering a variety of opportunities to learn about and enjoy this unique setting.

In addition, many active churches regularly hold fundraisers in their places of worship. Church Dinners, Craft Fairs and Bingo are all popular options for church fundraising. We believe that this concert, which will include Shaker spiritual music, is a fitting and respectful event for this building.

4) Why are you having this concert on a Sunday?
We only had a very limited number of dates to choose from for this concert and all the other dates were already booked. While we would have preferred to not have this concert on a Sunday, that was not possible without foregoing this amazing opportunity.

5) Why are the tickets so expensive? Or Why are the tickets so inexpensive?
Interestingly enough we have been asked both of these questions. From this experience we have learned that is impossible to please everyone. While we realize that these prices may be too much to spend for some, it is a fundraiser and we do have a responsibility to serve the best interests of this site. As for those who expected us to charge double or triple (or more) our current ticket prices, we wanted to make this concert as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. The fact that we have already sold out one concert and are over half way through the tickets for the second indicates that many people felt that the pricing was fair.

In addition, the venue is relatively small- we are only selling approximately 310 tickets for each performance. Therefore, everyone in attendance has the opportunity to be relatively close to the performance area, unlike in most larger concert halls or arenas. The concert committee spent a great deal of time discussing the pricing structure and, for the most part, response from the community has been favorable.

6) Can the concert be recorded?
No. We are not able to record these performances.

7) What has the process of organizing a concert been like?
While some elements of this have been somewhat overwhelming (designing, printing, cutting and organizing tickets, selling approximately 125 tickets in the first hour, and staring at detailed seating charts), we have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support. Some of the nicest people have contacted us for information and to buy tickets. Individuals from California, Ontario, Florida, Arizona and Indiana are flying in for this event. Wonderful people who live just down the road have stopped by in the gift shop and chatted with our volunteers. It has been truly heartwarming to see how many people care about the history and the future of this site.