Concert exposure to weather risk

Free concerts are susceptible to weather risk. If the weather is nice, people (in northern Europe, at least) may opt to skip indoor activity of any kind to get some warmth and vitamin D. This was the reason half the audience deserted us after intermission on a sunny June day in the Hague. It was the same reason in La Coruna, Spain.

While I was basking in the sun in the back garden, I was secretly debating whether I should wish for better or worse weather on Sunday 23rd May 2010.

Back garden of Monument House in Utrecht

Back garden of Monument House in Utrecht

If the weather is good, people that had originally intended to come to this “Glass Vase Concert” may indeed opt out. There is no obligation to show up unless 1) you have already paid (and won’t get a refund) and 2) you are a person of your word. If you said you’re coming, then you will be here.

If the weather is bad, on the other hand, some people may choose to stay at home.

Either way, the uncertainty of future weather conditions causes some concert producers to worry.

Should I continue to publicise on different platforms and channels that pre-dinner concerts are open? Should I count on those who said they’re coming to dinner but haven’t paid yet? Should I call or e-mail to double check?

If the weather is good, it allows us to convene outdoors for refreshments and dinner. If the musicians dare, we can even have an outdoor concert or two. With free concerts, you’re never sure how many people will turn up.

At our first house concert in 2006, coincidentally some of the people who said they would come didn’t and some who didn’t reserve showed up. We were lucky then, for the weather was extremely nice. The numbers balanced out.


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Filed under audience, concert, planning

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