DENVER (June 10, 2014) – The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra (“DPO”) saw a 65% increase in audience size during its 2013–14 concert season, compared to its recording-breaking 2012–13 Season.
The DPO, which presents six concerts per year, experienced multiple standing-room-only concerts and averaged more than 760 patrons per performance. Along with this surge in audience size, the DPO continued its tradition of attracting a younger audience than is typical of a symphony orchestra concert. More children and students attended DPO concerts than did senior citizens — 6.5% of the audience were seniors, while 6.5% were students and 8% were aged 12 and under.
DPO Board President Jon Olafson credits several factors for this season’s surge in ticket sales including excellent programming by our new music director Lawrence Golan, a visual and vocal rebrand, innovative uses of social media, and youth-oriented concert night activities. “We made the conscious decision to focus on audience experience — from the quality music provided by our talented musicians to the events that surround the performance, the DPO’s goal is to see as many smiling and happy faces in the audience and orchestra as possible.”
Olafson adds, “We want to take down all the barriers people have about coming to a live symphonic concert — from the rigid ‘rules’ that many believe exist to people’s fear that they don’t know enough about classical music. At our concerts, the focus is on the enjoyment of music and being part of a creative community in Denver.”
During the 2013–14 Season, the DPO put in place numerous initiatives aimed at engaging their patrons and attracting young adults to their concerts. During each concert, the orchestra live-tweeted interesting concert notes and pictures, and invited its audience to tweet along. By the end of the season, the Twitter feed became an exciting and dynamic open exchange between the orchestra and its patrons. DPO also provided downloadable concert programs for those who are used to getting information on a device, and have begun to translate their programs into Spanish.
This season’s concert night special activities included a Valentine’s Day photo booth, an astronaut “selfie” corner (during a concert about outer space) and an instrument petting zoo for kids of all ages. In January, the DPO challenged and collaborated with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra for a pre-Super Bowl video mashup — The Battle of the Batons. The DPO will be announcing its 2014–15 season in the next few weeks and looks forward to another record-breaking season of quality music, and new and familiar smiling faces.