Attendance during the Irvine Barclay Theatre’s 1994-95 season jumped 28% over the previous fiscal year, as the number of performances increased 16%, according to figures released Tuesday. Average attendance at 216 events was 70%, up from 63%.
Average attendance at the county’s other high-prestige indoor venue, the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, was 81.2% in 1994 (the center operates on a calendar year), an increase of 2%.
Karen Drews, marketing director at the Irvine Barclay, cited several reasons for the increased attendance there.
“We took different marketing tacks. We shifted to a four-color brochure, then mailed to a more targeted list. We used to send out to a list based on general demographics; this time we targeted arts buyers, those who already attend events.
“Then, too, success tends to breed more success,” she added. “People attending multiple performances went up significantly this season.”
A dozen performances sponsored by the Irvine Barclay sold out. Ballet Pacifica’s “Nutcracker” performances averaged 99.5% capacity; the Chamber Music Series sponsored at the theater by the Orange County Philharmonic Society and the Laguna Chamber Music Society averaged 95%. The theater’s first weeklong engagement, eight performances of Le Ballet National du Senegal, averaged 93%.
The number of tickets sold for events at the theater was 112,858.