The Southwest Showcase in Deloraine started back in 1988 and 35 years later organizers are looking for the best way to attract patrons.
The Deloraine-Winchester Theatre has room for 233 people but the first of the winter showcase concerts on Sunday, January 22 attracted about 100 people.
Southwest Showcase Chairperson Doug Whiteside said they split this past season as the board members felt coming out the pandemic and getting acts organized a split concert season would be a good way to go.
“We did a fall series where we had four shows and now, we’re into our winter series and we have another four concerts. We haven’t sold as many season tickets for the winter season. We have lots of people who go away for the winter, and they go south and figure they’ll miss a show or two, so they don’t bother buying a season ticket.”
Whiteside said they had a dozen people buy walk up tickets on Sunday which was nice to see.
“Our numbers have been dropping and we have to re-evaluate. Our audience tends to be the older generation and it declines every year. When we look to next year, we’ll probably look to adjust out timing and the number of concerts, so we don’t have quite so many when people tend to be away,” said Whiteside.
The group is selling enough tickets to pay the bills but selling tickets for less than $20 could be coming to an end. Doug Whiteside says inflation is hitting everyone and patrons have been told ticket prices would likely be going up next year.
The Southwest Showcase has two more shows in February and the final concert will be Amy Bishop on March 8th.