Relatively straightforward choices


When you’re paying for your concert experiences the decision-making process is surprisingly easy. At least it seems that way to me this week.

Full transparency (and don’t think badly of me): it’s only recently I’ve started paying for my concert tickets. Previously the concerts I’ve attended have been on a quid pro quo basis. When you make a big announcement like I did about ‘stepping back’, then concert-going has a whole different take. Making active choices yields so many more insights.

Take this week. I’ve heard A LOT about the Drury Lane production of Messiah. Danielle de Niese told Neil Fisher she didn’t quite know what to expect from the one night show (she’s one of the soloists). There are dancers and lights, and it seems tickets remaining priced at £56 and £66.

I’m pondering whether I’ll fork out for a £56 ticket when I hear the production promo’d again on InTune tonight in the car back from the garden centre with The Partner of 25 Years, Simon (henceforth referred to as PO25). He’s banging on about how boring he finds the Hallelujah Chorus. I resist. This is a measure of how my view on Handel has changed in recent years. Samir Savant should take the credit here.

The idea of a concert experience over the next week or so is appealing though. An orchestra. Maybe Southbank. I should investigate when I get home I think to myself.

A couple of hours later I discover I can buy a £48 balcony seat to see Sibelius Violin and Mahler 6. That’s a tenner less, in my favourite venue, with far more space AND a ring side seat. As I click ‘purchase’ anticipation rises.

In doing so I realise I’m confirming what endless marketers have been saying for months: people are buying far closer to the wire. In my case I want epic and proximity. And I’m quite happy to drop £50, just not on something like Handel in a theatre with colourful lights and (I bet you) a smoke machine. Still, Drury Lane has sold out (basically), so good on them.