Classical Music World: Sell-out Strategies

By ANN MCLAUGHLIN, Artistic Director

Los Alamos Concert Association

In the run up to Joshua Bell’s performance here Feb. 3, the Los Alamos Concert Association is contending with a host of issues related to managing a sold-out house. Getting 944 people settled comfortably in the hall is a little trickier than you might imagine.

The most obvious issue is the limited parking adjacent to the Smith Auditorium. Scores of people will be coming from off the hill and many won’t have a clue about alternatives to the Smith lot. We are hoping that our local patrons will car pool and consider parking in the Sullivan Field lot or in front of the gym and in the commercial lots across the street.

Additionally, we hope that those who are vigorous walkers will consider leaving the Smith lot to those who are not so frisky.

At nearly every one of our concerts, two or three people arrive with the wrong ticket. This is not usually an issue for us but for this sold-out event, it will be a big problem. Your ticket needs to say Joshua Bell on it, or we may not be able to seat you.

I started with the parking problem and tickets because the other big issue is (ahem!) a little delicate. If you have ever stood in line at the women’s restroom in the Smith Auditorium, you know what I’m talking about. 

To put it clearly, a hall that seats 944 should have more than three stalls for the ladies. The facilities for the gentlemen are equally meager although men do tend to be speedier so the problem isn’t as dire. We have frequently resorted to letting the long line of women commandeer the men’s room so the intermission won’t drag on and on.

The good news is that this problem will soon go away. A complete remodel and expansion of the Smith lobby and public restrooms will be complete, if all goes according to plan, by December of 2017. In the meantime, the best way to manage this issue is for our patrons to help us out with a little advance planning…if you get my drift!

We are looking forward to greeting you at this grand event. All tickets have been spoken for, so no tickets will be sold at the door. Be sure to bring the right ticket. Arrive early. Help us avoid chaos with your parking choices. Enjoy the music!