Students feel early Halloween fear as YSO Halloween show tickets sell out in seconds

Courtesy of YSO

Tickets for the Yale Symphony Orchestra’s annual Halloween concert sold out in less than a minute on Monday night, leading to a booming black market for tickets, with some students selling them for over 10 times the original price.

Tickets for the YSO 2021 Halloween show went on sale on Eventbrite at 10:31 p.m. Still, most students eager to attend the annual Halloween tradition left empty-handed, as Woolsey Hall d ‘A capacity of 2,650 was limited to only 275 places available due to the covid19 pandemic.

“I sat down with my friend to buy tickets just at 10:31 am, looking at a clock with seconds to make sure we hit the button as soon as it went on sale,” said Sarah Shapiro ’25. “Unfortunately, despite clicking on it at the same time, I was able to get a ticket and it was not.”

While the exact number of seconds before tickets run out is not known, Supriya Weiss ’24, president of YSO and co-producer of the Halloween show, said “it was certainly less than a minute.”

“Typically tickets sell out in under 10 minutes – I guess 10 percent of the capacity meant 10 percent of the time,” Weiss said.

According to Weiss and co-producer Aria Harris ’24, the COVID-19 capacity restriction was assigned to YSO by associate dean of the arts Kate Krier and the university’s COVID-19 review board.

Harris added that the 275-person limit also applies to the Yale Philharmonia, whose concerts are only open to School of Music affiliates. However, these constraints did not explain the difference in the number of eligible spectators between the YSO and the Philharmonia.

“Even a 275-person cap would leave enough room for most of the music school. [to attend Philharmonia concerts] because there just aren’t that many students, ”Harris said. “Unfortunately, we were forced to follow the same guidelines. This is unfortunate because it is literally 10% of Woolsey Hall, which is really inconsistent with any other guideline given by Yale.

Krier said the limit of 275 people, including reception staff, at Woolsey is in place for all users of the concert hall and applies to ensembles at the School of Music, Institute of Sacred Music. and Yale College.

“There are COVID restrictions of various kinds that affect the public campus-wide,” Krier said. “I am working with partners from other artistic units to make proposals to continue to reactivate the performance activity on campus. Along with other colleagues in the arts, I am in active discussion with the student group leaders as well as with the public health and safety group on the next steps.

Student entrepreneurs took advantage of the high demand for tickets; there have been reports of people reselling tickets for significantly increased prices. Tickets are originally $ 10.

“In a bunch of group chats, they range from $ 80 to $ 120,” said Atticus Margulis-Ohnuma ’25, a YSO violinist.

Emma Polinsky ’25 added that she suspected the prices were so high because this year is the seniors’ last chance to attend the concert, which they were unable to attend last year due to the pandemic.

Harris said she “had heard from so many older people who really, really wanted to go but couldn’t see [the concert] at Woolsey Hall before they left Yale.

She added that within an hour of the tickets going on sale, people started posting on Facebook Marketplace, offering to pay $ 50 to $ 100 for a ticket, while others offered to sell theirs for. $ 100. Harris said she believes the resale of tickets undermines the YSO’s efforts to make concert tickets fair.

“The YSO is on a mission to make all their tickets free and lower the price of Halloween show tickets, and all of that is being canceled because the capacity of the hall is so reduced that people are buying tickets for more. one hundred dollars. ”Harris explained. “I find it unfortunate that people who can afford it can sit in the room, while those who don’t cannot.

According to Weiss, the YSO does not support or approve the resale of its tickets and “does not tolerate online resale.”

Weiss and Harris pointed out that despite in-person capacity limits, the livestream will be available and free to everyone. Although the YSO had previously broadcast the Halloween show live, viewers had to pay a fee. Last year he offered the livestream for free for the first time as a show took place entirely virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want everyone to have access to music; we don’t want there to be a financial barrier preventing anyone from attending our concerts, ”Weiss said.

In light of the limited in-person capacity, Weiss and Harris said they look forward to seeing surveillance nights held around campus.

“At the end of the day, all I want is people to watch the show and have fun,” Harris said. “A livestream will allow people to have really cool events with their friends. You can watch it with snacks and drinks, which you might not have had if you were at Woolsey Hall. There will be various options for people to organize and watch the show on campus. “

Harris noted that Silliman College planned to broadcast the concert live in the courtyard, and many FroCos use their service nights to host live broadcasts for their early years.

“We hope that people can still come together and that it can still be a community event, even though we will not all be in the same place,” she said. According to Harris, viewers around the world listened to the livestream from last year’s Halloween show.

While the hybrid show may reach larger audiences than in previous years, Harris said she was disappointed with the capacity limits.

“A lot of the magic for the orchestra is playing in front of a really, really excited, really, really excited audience,” Harris said. “So while it’s great to have a live audience, it’s disappointing that it isn’t to the extent that it could.”

The YSO opened its season with the ““Hope” concert October 16 – the group’s first in-person performance since 2020.

“I have to say after this year and a half of not being able to play at all, even just having a live audience to cheer us on was such an amazing experience to come back – so I still think it will be a good one. moment, ”Weiss said. “It has been a real labor of love for [Harris] and me. I think this year will be a spectacular show that will surprise people in many ways.

The concert will be broadcast live on the YSO website.

Kenneth T. Shippee

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