We Hear You! Updates to the Concert Experience for 2023

January 9, 2023

We love receiving feedback from Festival attendees and we continually endeavor to improve the Festival experience in response to that feedback, in collaboration with our partners at Chautauqua Auditorium. Below are some of the adjustments and improvements you can look forward to in the 2023 season, as well as the positive feedback we received through our surveys.

Audiences enjoy the Festival’s diverse programming

Survey responses suggest that Festival audiences enjoy our very intentional mix of classical masterpieces and new music by contemporary voices. Many of you have gone out of your way to thank us for introducing you to music by living composers. The “Music of Today” has become a core focus of the Festival’s programming and we are delighted so many of you enjoy it (and of course, the tried-and-true masterpieces aren’t going anywhere either).

Chautauqua is implementing a new ticketing system

We received many comments about the box office/ticketing experience, which we passed along to our partners at the Chautauqua Association, which sells our tickets. Chautauqua will be implementing a new, user-friendly ticketing system this season. We continue to work with the Chautauqua box office on customer service best practices for our Festival audience.

Subscribers: Remember that the Festival has added a subscriber representative to its staff! Abbey has a classical music background and enjoys helping our patrons find just the right concerts/subscription for them. If you’d like to discuss your 2023 subscription, schedule a call with Abbey at coloradomusicfestival.org/appointment.

Plan ahead for temperatures in the Auditorium

Every year we hear your feedback about the inconsistent temperature in Chautauqua Auditorium. We are so pleased that our charming and acoustically-unique venue, a wooden building constructed in 1898, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, that designation limits the type of updates that can be made.

As such, Chautauqua Auditorium is not air-conditioned. The temperature in the auditorium is managed with fans, swamp coolers (used before concerts and during intermission due to sound), and large sliding panels. Since we open and close these panels to manage the temperature, we can’t always get it perfect. Since the temperature can vary, we suggest dressing for the potential of the Auditorium being warm and bringing a jacket or sweater.

Remember that the orchestra is not amplified, so there is a fine balance between opening the sliding panels to manage the temperature in the venue and managing the outside noise. Both the Festival staff and the Chautauqua staff do their very best to strike this balance.

Low-cost bench seats are returning (plus youth and student tickets)

We heard you! Audiences, especially youth and students, would like the option of a ticket price under $20. We are again offering $18 seats in the general-admission bench section. Be sure to purchase those tickets early, as they will sell quickly.

New for 2023: The Festival is offering $10 tickets for youth (ages 18 and under) and students (with current school identification). More information will be available soon at coloradomusicfestival.org/tickets.

High-quality pre-ordered meals will be available this season

In the 2022 season, we received reasonable complaints about the quality and availability of grab-and-go meals through Chautauqua. We have passed this feedback on to the Chautauqua Dining Hall, which has agreed to replace grab-and-go meals with high-quality pre-ordered meals that will be essentially taken from the menu offered for seated guests at the Dining Hall.

These meals will be available for pre-order through the ticketing system either when you are purchasing your tickets/subscription or closer to the concert date. You will be able to find more information soon at coloradomusicfestival.org/dining.

Improvements to the Hop 2 Chautauqua shuttle experience

The Hop 2 Chautauqua shuttle is a free service to help bring patrons to the Auditorium. We hear you — that end-to-end experience has room for improvement. In partnership with the Chautauqua Association and Via Colorado (the shuttle provider), here are a few of the changes we plan to make in the 2023 season:

  • The Festival is working directly with Via Colorado to improve the shuttle map, signage at shuttle stops, and more. We will be including a Tips for Riding the Shuttle section on our website as well.
  • Via Colorado will be changing the accessible bus (that can be accessed at New Vista high school) to drop off on the curb in front of the Auditorium.
  • Patrons can also schedule an accessible door-through-door ride with Via, directly. Patrons with accessibility needs can contact Via Mobility Services by calling 303-444-3043 or visiting ViaColorado.org.
  • Based on your feedback, we have alerted Via and Chautauqua to the issue of patrons being left behind after concerts. We will keep an eye on this issue and will be sharing tips for patrons to avoid this situation.

New, earlier start time for the Family Concert

The Festival received feedback that an 11 am concert time was difficult for parents with younger children. While the Festival cannot change the concert time by much, due to logistics relating to the orchestra, we have been able to move this year’s concert up to a 10:30 am start time. You can also look forward to a new pre-concert email specifically for the Family Concert, which will include tips on managing Chautauqua Auditorium with little ones.

Thank you for your feedback

The Festival experience goes beyond what occurs on the stage — it includes parking, dining, and so much more. Your feedback throughout the season helps us improve the end-to-end experience for all concert attendees, and is much appreciated.

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