Going Back to the Future
Something Rotten, a musical comedy about two brothers who create the first musical during the era of the super-star Shakespeare, is about to open on Broadway. But despite the historical and traditional setting of the show, Something Rotten is pushing the conventional ticketing methods into the future!
Rush tickets are becoming a given for any show on New York’s main stem theatre district. To earn some revenue for seats which would otherwise remain empty, most Broadway shows (and increasingly Australian shows) will offer last minute discount tickets in the remaining seats for patrons who turn up on the day of the performance.
This is great for a tourist audience. And that is arguably Broadway’s primary audience. Working your way around New York it is very easy to schedule in a stop by the theatre when the box office opens or a couple of hours before the show to see if there are any tickets left at heavily discounted prices.
However, the strategy doesn’t work quite as well for New York locals. Not many employees have bosses who would let them leave work in the middle of the day to line up for tickets.
This is a particular issue for Broadway at the moment. Only 30% of yearly ticket sales come from New York-based audiences. The other 70% are fuelled by the strong tourism market. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these statistics as long as New York remains one of the most popular tourism destinations – however there is a largely untapped local audience which could provide a huge increase in attendance if you can get them along to the theatre.
Something Rotten has found a way!
Despite the show being set in 1595, Something Rotten is moving into the digital age with digital rush tickets.
How does it work? Interested parties who want to get some rush tickets can enter their details online to be put in the mix. They will then receive a notification two-and-a-half hours before the show advising whether their entry was rotten or successful and instructions on how to pick up your tickets up to half an hour before.
The only revolutionary component of this strategy is moving a pre-existing concept online. But it is often the simple things which make all the difference. Not only will this allow New York locals to enter the ballot but will also give tourists back an extra half hour to see more of the famous New York sites.