Though I love going on a cultural binge once in a while — one happy example of which I just described in a previous post — there’s a more negative side to having so many events scheduled the first two weeks in December. When arts groups scramble to get their holiday-related events out of the way long before Christmas itself, it can mean an empty calendar later in the month, just when some people (me included) really start getting into the holiday spirit.
I tackled the issue of holiday scheduling in my Sunday Spotlight column:
… You’d think that local groups would try to break the bottleneck. Even when audiences want to get into the holiday spirit early, there’s the matter of competition. People can only go to so many performances in a weekend. And because the types of folks who tend to go to local classical concerts are often themselves involved in an ensemble, many times they can’t go to someone else’s concert because of rehearsal and performance conflicts. The audience pool gets smaller.
I go on to predict that if a local group actually scheduled a concert closer to Christmas itself, it just might get a larger, more appreciative audience.
What do you think? Should arts groups try to get together and actually coordinate their performances out of self-interest? Or does the current system — with virtually everything happening the first two weeks of December — work?
Pictured: promotional art from Fresno Grand Opera’s “Christmas on Van Ness,” which will be performed Dec. 8 at First Congregational Church.