The 36th season of Spoleto Festival USA earned nearly $3 million in box office receipts and had an estimated total economic impact on the Charleston region of $55 million, according to festival officials.
More than 70,000 ticket holders attended 140 theater, music and dance events. The College of Charleston Cistern Yard proved a popular venue, pulling in thousands of patrons for concerts featuring the string band Joy Kills Sorrow, New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch & Kritter.
More than 2,500 tickets were sold for the k.d. lang appearance at the Gaillard Auditorium. Extra shows were added to satisfy demand for the acrobatic show “Traces” and the one-man physical theater show “Leo.”
The Chamber Music Series provided the festival’s spine while concerts and operas featured more new music than usual, including works by Philip Glass, John Cage and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts, referred to the unique nature of the festival at its opening ceremonies on May 25.
“Spoleto Festival USA, as far as I know, is the only American arts festival to be hosted by an entire city,” he said.
The Post and Courier’s extensive coverage of the festival, and of Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival, is collected online at postandcourier.com/spoleto.
The 2013 Festival will take place May 24-June 9. Tickets go on sale in January. For more information, visit spoletousa.org.