I would like to respond to some of the good suggestions made in two recent letters to the editor about Spoleto Festival USA ticket prices.
Spoleto Festival USA offers tickets across a variety of price levels to the world-class performing arts events we bring to Charleston. Starting prices for our upcoming 2015 shows range from $20 to $35.
Not every seat is available at these prices, but people who book early do have the chance to purchase tickets within this range. (Note: These starting prices do not include limited or obstructed view seats, which are less expensive. They are seats from which you can see and hear every aspect of the performance.)
The average ticket price in 2014 was $48, and last year we eradicated all additional service fees meaning that a $30 ticket is indeed $30. This continues in 2015. We believe this average compares most favorably to other performing arts or entertainment offerings.
We have always offered senior and military discounts and continue to do so for all 2015 performances. Information about these discounts is readily available online or by talking to one of our box office agents.
We also offer a student discount program and a long-standing program called Open Stage Door that provides complimentary tickets to select performances to Charleston community groups, social service agencies and other non-profit groups. A number of our generous sponsors also pay for groups to attend festival performances.
We do not frequently find ourselves with many empty seats to fill. One writer referred to sections of the TD Arena that were empty in 2014. This was on purpose.
In turning the arena into a performing arts space, we chose not to put every seat on sale simply because it was impossible to see every part of the stage from all seats.
In fact, the majority of our performances in venues such as the Dock Street Theatre, Memminger Auditorium, Emmett Robinson Theatre at the College of Charleston, and the college’s Sottile Theatre sell out during the festival — another reason to buy tickets early.
Spoleto Festival USA is proud to bring esteemed performers from around the world to Charleston. As a non-profit performing arts organization, we are always striving to provide the best experience for our audiences while retaining the quality of our programming.
Ticket revenue covers less than half of the costs of producing the festival each season. We recently announced the 2015 season and tickets went on sale to the general public on January 20.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Spoleto Festival USA