For the first time in its festival history, Bumbershoot launched a tiered ticketing system for 2010. While the standard Bumbershoot ticket was $40, and a new "economy" ticket that gave fans entrance into every show except for sets on the mainstage (Bob Dylan, Hole, Mary J. Blige) were $22. It did not go so well. The festival says the standard tickets did fine, but the economy tickets sold just 38 percent of what they'd hoped. Next year will be different.
"It's not going to be exactly the same," says Jon Stone, the executive director of One Reel, Bumbershoot's parent non-profit. "Figuring out ticketing on these kinds of events is really, really difficult."The 40-year-old festival has posted low turnout numbers over the last three years - due in no small part to inclement weather - and One Reel laid off eight of its 14 full-time festival employees in October.
An updated ticketing structure will be part of Stone's presentation of "a new Bumbershoot business plan" to the non-profit's board on Wednesday. Stone declined to elaborate on the specifics of the plan, but did promise that the festival will once again take place over three days on Labor Day Weekend, and that he hoped to announce details of the changes by mid-January.