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September 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Discounted arts tickets: How cheap is too cheap?

Groupon has a surprising offer today: Seattle Symphony tickets at discounts up to 57 percent. This on top of last week’s Seattle Symphony announcement of free tickets for kids who attend with a paying adult.

Other arts orgs are also offering steep discounts: See ACT Theatre’s ACT Pass, for example.

Discounted tickets can fill seats and lure new audiences. (Every empty seat is “a lost opportunity,” said symphony music director Ludovic Morlot last week at a rehearsal open to press and arts administrators.) But can they backire?

We know that some arts staffers around town have been debating the recessionary trend of offering free/cheap seats. Does it devalue the “product”? Does it make it impossible for artists to get paid what they’re worth?

Chime in and let us hear your perspective.

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