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For Loyal Korean Concert Fans, Price Is No Object

Posted November. 05, 2005 03:02,   


Despite record high ticket prices, the seats for performances of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (450,000 won for R seat) and a long performance piece that continues for 16 hours over four days (The Ring of the Nibelongs) were filled.

This happened thanks to a small group of regular Korean concert-going fans who make advance purchases of tickets.

This group can be called a “loyal audience” because they are loyal enough not to miss out performances of interest, and a “royal audience” because they do not care about price when it comes to the highest-grade performances. The domestic performance planning sector estimates the number of such people to be about 2,000.

The Power of a Loyal, Royal Audience-

For the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performance scheduled for November 7 to 8, the organizers offered ticket advanced purchases beginning as early as July. On the first day the tickets went on sale, 718 people bought them. Half of the entire number of seats, or 2,248 of 5,064 tickets, was sold in a month.

What was notable was the bipolarization of ticket sales, in which R seats and C seats were sold out. As organizers were inundated with inquiries from those who are waiting for others to cancel their C-seat purchase even after the seats are sold out, they created a “waiting list” for C seats. All of the advanced purchases were made by individuals, not companies.

Individual purchases also prevailed in the case of the Ring of the Nibelungs, a Wagner opera that was performed in October. CMI, the organizer of the performance, said, “As Wagner’s opera is not popular, few companies sponsored the performance. We were surprised that individual audience who bought tickets with their own money filled the seats.” Moreover, more than 1,500 package ticket deals, which offer admission to all four days of the performance for up to one million won were sold.

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com raphy@donga.com