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penelopesimpson

Fun and Games with ROH Package Booking

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Yes, I wondered.  The PDF says £57.  Thanks for the reminder that there are cheaper seats than side amphi at the rear - even if I can't sit in any of them!

 

Of course, some at least of the public allocation will have gone on the package bookings, presumably?

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Bluebird said:

Have they reduced the prices slightly? When I booked, the lowest “proper” seat prices were £39 (rear amphi) and £57 (side front amphi), apart from the 5 very restricted view seats at the very rear of the amphi which were £22. There were no seats at £54 or £55.

 

apologies for my typo GBP 57 not GBP 55.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, prs59 said:

 

apologies for my typo GBP 57 not GBP 55.

 

 

 

Thank you for the clarification. An earlier post had also quoted a lower price (£54) so I couldn’t help but wonder if the prices had been adjusted.

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I have gone back to ROH customer services with five questions:

 

1. I have asked them to confirm the number or percentage/proportion of tickets that were available to be bought today for general booking. 

 

2. I have asked them to confirm their policy (if they have one) about the availability of tickets for the general public on booking day (ie how many/what proportion of tickets at held back, if any).

 

3. I have asked them to make explicit on their website the possibility that productions could sell out to friends (excluding Friday Rush) if that is a possibly going forward. 

 

4. I asked if a cap was put in place on the number of tickets people could buy, and if not why. 

 

5. I asked what action they are taking about resold tickets - including screenshots from some on sale at viagogo as an example. 

 

It will be interesting to see if they give a more detailed response that answers the above questions or not (and if that contradicts any earlier statements). 

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This really is turning into ROH-gate, isn't it, with the axe falling more on the denials and contradictions than what may or may not initially have been done.

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57 minutes ago, Scheherezade said:

This really is turning into ROH-gate, isn't it, with the axe falling more on the denials and contradictions than what may or may not initially have been done.

 

And it speaks pretty well of ROH regulars, at least those of us on this forum, that we aren't TRYING to buy up all the tickets for ourselves or to sell on to our friends. We're challenging unfairness in the process because we WANT members of the general taxpaying public to be able to access popular productions.

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11 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

And it speaks pretty well of ROH regulars, at least those of us on this forum, that we aren't TRYING to buy up all the tickets for ourselves or to sell on to our friends. We're challenging unfairness in the process because we WANT members of the general taxpaying public to be able to access popular productions.

 

Yes - I was interested to learn from Rupert Christiansen in the Telegraph that this has all happened because Friends are “constantly angry” and “always complaining that they don’t get enough access to tickets”!

Edited by Lizbie1

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Without going into the rights and wrongs of the whole mess, I think a problem is that the ROH, and other theatres, need large numbers of Patrons, Friends whatever to swell their coffers. Inevitably, the more that give this support, the more tickets and benefits they want, and can justifiably expect. If I was a Patron paying several grand a year I would be pretty miffed not to be able to get tickets because some were being held back for the general public. You would have to be a particularly generous minded patron to say 'I don't mind foregoing my ticket so that Joe Bloggs can have it'. Some years ago the Donmar closed its' Supporters list because too many people wanted priority tickets - a very honest action, but I can't,see the ROH doing that. But I totally agree that greater transparency on the part of the ROH is needed, and a clear policy should be stated and adhered to.

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I think it's the lack of clarity and transparency that is bugging most people, as much as the fact that lots of money lets you jump the queue, so to speak. The fine speeches and new cafes declaring non-elitism doesn't tie in with people paying thousands to ensure they get the tickets they want (which I don't have that much of a problem with - as that is life and all that). Tax payers (via the Arts Council) make demands that they should have access to tickets too, as they do pay a subsidy. The resolution of this clash of aims, is where the rub lies, and where ROH seem to be letting themselves down - with everyone. They need a practical, and clear, policy in place that everyone can understand, even if that means at times you may feel frozen out. At least you'll know why then

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I’m sure the ROH has in the past operated limits on the number of tickets that Patrons/Friends can purchase for the most popular performances and the limit varied depending on the level of membership.  I don’t recall there being an outcry from Patrons/Friends that the limits were too restrictive, depriving them of their right to purchase all the tickets they wanted.  And if tickets were available at General Booking and Patrons/Friends wanted extra tickets, they were able to join the queue.  That seems fairer to me but as I said earlier, if there are just 4 performances (the Netrebko/Kaufmann Forza), then even with Patrons/Friends limits operating, there may be pretty restricted availability come general booking.  

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1 hour ago, JohnS said:

I’m sure the ROH has in the past operated limits on the number of tickets that Patrons/Friends can purchase for the most popular performances and the limit varied depending on the level of membership.  I don’t recall there being an outcry from Patrons/Friends that the limits were too restrictive, depriving them of their right to purchase all the tickets they wanted.  

 

There was something of an outcry about 3 years ago or more. Some Friends felt that the booking limits were too restrictive but I don't recall anyone suggesting that Patrons and Friends (for whom there are limits!) should have any  "right to purchase all the tickets they wanted" !

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5 minutes ago, capybara said:

Patrons and Friends (for whom there are limits!)

 

But only, I think, the standard 9 tickets per performance?

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I’m afraid I’m struggling with knowing what restrictions I have on purchasing tickets as a Premium 2 Friend other than for Rehearsals where restrictions are very clear.  I don’t see ROH limits on the numbers of packages or tickets I could purchase but I may well be missing something.  

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When I asked the box office whether there would be a limit for the Fonteyn gala (I thought there ought to be but couldn't find any mention), they sent the following reply:

 

"There will not be an additional ticket limit in place for this performance therefore the usual ticket limit of 9 tickets per person will apply."

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Is the general 9 tickets limit only per performance or is it per production? If, for instance, someone wanted to buy one ticket for all 16 performances of the current run of Manon would that be allowed?

Edited by Dawnstar

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I've never got close to that number, but suspect it's per performance. Maybe someone else can confirm.

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It’s per performance. I’ve definitely gone over 9 tickets for a production. 😬 

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Thanks. I don't intend to get to that limit either but was interested in theory. Thus far my worst have been 5 each for R&J and Manon.

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2 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

Thanks. I don't intend to get to that limit either but was interested in theory. Thus far my worst have been 5 each for R&J and Manon.

 

Your use of the word 'worst' amused me, Dawnstar! But I know exactly what you mean...

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It strikes me that 9 tickets per performance is very generous and would satisfy most people’s needs.  And of course group bookings kick in if you wish to purchase 10 or more tickets per performance.  So I still don’t understand what limits are placed on purchases of Patrons/Friends tickets, other than for Rehearsals.

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1 hour ago, JohnS said:

It strikes me that 9 tickets per performance is very generous and would satisfy most people’s needs.  And of course group bookings kick in if you wish to purchase 10 or more tickets per performance.  So I still don’t understand what limits are placed on purchases of Patrons/Friends tickets, other than for Rehearsals.

 

I actually think 9 tickets per performance is bonkers. Why on earth should people be allowed to buy that many tickets (unless they think the tickets are going to be hard to shift for some reason)? Someone above suggested that being a Friend should allow you to bring one person with you, as with some gallery memberships etc - maybe stretch that to 4 to be generous, but 9??

Edited by bridiem
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6 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

Without going into the rights and wrongs of the whole mess, I think a problem is that the ROH, and other theatres, need large numbers of Patrons, Friends whatever to swell their coffers. Inevitably, the more that give this support, the more tickets and benefits they want, and can justifiably expect. If I was a Patron paying several grand a year I would be pretty miffed not to be able to get tickets because some were being held back for the general public. You would have to be a particularly generous minded patron to say 'I don't mind foregoing my ticket so that Joe Bloggs can have it'. Some years ago the Donmar closed its' Supporters list because too many people wanted priority tickets - a very honest action, but I can't,see the ROH doing that. But I totally agree that greater transparency on the part of the ROH is needed, and a clear policy should be stated and adhered to.

 

Just to say, here in Toronto, "Friends" don't have any priority access to tickets. I do "pay several grand a year" (well a couple anyway) and this gives me the same ticket access as someone not donating a cent, i.e. I can book a subscription when they go on sale to everyone in March for the following Sept-June season. And I can buy individual tickets when they go on sale to everyone in September. So if Joe Bloggs gets to the box office before me, more power to Joe. I consider my donation as exactly that, a donation. I don't know that donors can "justifiably expect" benefits like this, but I guess the ROH has trained its Friends to think they can.

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

 

I actually think 9 tickets per performance is bonkers. Why on earth should people be allowed to buy that many tickets (unless they think the tickets are going to be hard to shift for some reason)? Someone above suggested that being a Friend should allow you to bring one person with you, as with some gallery memberships etc - maybe stretch that to 4 to be generous, but 9??

 

I've seen hen parties in there before now :) 

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

 

I actually think 9 tickets per performance is bonkers. Why on earth should people be allowed to buy that many tickets (unless they think the tickets are going to be hard to shift for some reason)? Someone above suggested that being a Friend should allow you to bring one person with you, as with some gallery memberships etc - maybe stretch that to 4 to be generous, but 9??


I would agree with 4 per performance as a baseline (because who doesn’t sometimes want to bring more than one friend?) and for “premium” shows such as those we’ve been discussing, 4 in total per run of the production. The latter limit was working very nicely for several seasons until they decided to remove it in favour of a free-for-all; indeed it was last imposed for the 2018 Ring cycle. The only disadvantage of the latter limit is its potential to ensure second-cast shows sell badly even though regulars want to buy tickets for them, but there are ways round that at later stages.

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My RSC Patronage didn't specify limits generally, but did put limits on productions likely to be popular - the David Tennant Hamlet was, I think, one of those. I would think a limit of four is perfectly reasonable, nine sounds daft, to me. And if it means that people can't club together and buy a more expensive level of membership that may even be good for the ROH coffers.

Edited by ninamargaret
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10 minutes ago, RuthE said:


I would agree with 4 per performance as a baseline (because who doesn’t sometimes want to bring more than one friend?) and for “premium” shows such as those we’ve been discussing, 4 in total per run of the production. The latter limit was working very nicely for several seasons until they decided to remove it in favour of a free-for-all; indeed it was last imposed for the 2018 Ring cycle. The only disadvantage of the latter limit is its potential to ensure second-cast shows sell badly even though regulars want to buy tickets for them, but there are ways round that at later stages.

 

I think this is a very reasonable suggestion. 

 

As @ninamargaret points out this is how many you could buy with ONE membership - sorry but who realistically brings 8 friends? And if they did/wanted to it would not be unreasonable to say that if they wanted that many plus ones, perhaps someone else should buy a friends membership or understand they need to wait for general booking to secure that many seats!

 

In theory the 9 ticket limit means 9 people could split a friends membership between them - I think in fairness it’s probably rare for this to occur but a single person does not need their privileges to extend as far as 9 tickets! Plus 3 is more than generous in my opinion - if facilitates a whole family ‘sharing’ a membership in effect. 

 

Of course friends could also be online come general booking day and have the exact same chance of securing further tickets as anyone else then, meaning that they’re likely to get everything they want anyway, with the exception of even more tickets of productions like La Forza/Fidelio, but already having secured a potential 4, this seems fair if demand is high and there will be people with no tickets at all! 

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Today's Times has picked up on this issue in its News pages - nothing new, I think, and no sign of the small article in the online edition.

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@penelopesimpson did you ever receive a follow-up reply from Alex Beard?

 

I have heard nothing from ROH customer services since contacting them last week. I presume I won't get anything back now. 

 

I suppose that may be the end of it then...If nothing else at least I hope this has raised internal awareness to ROH that there are people that pay attention and care about this type of thing! 

 

I suppose we can see if it's had any difference (or not) with Netrebko's Tosca in the Summer season (this time only 4 performances as opposed to Fidelio's 6!)...

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I didn't have a reply from the ROH to either of my follow-up emails either, which I find rather disappointing in terms of customer service. They could at least have sent a generic acknowledgement of receipt even if they'd been told not to give out any further information.

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1 minute ago, Dawnstar said:

I didn't have a reply from the ROH to either of my follow-up emails either, which I find rather disappointing in terms of customer service. They could at least have sent a generic acknowledgement of receipt even if they'd been told not to give out any further information.

 

Yes I agree. 

 

I don't know why they shouldn't be open and transparent about these things though, especially for a part-funded organisation that seems (at least on the surface) to be keen on principles of transparency etc, but to completely ignore makes me more suspicious that there is something untoward going on.

 

Either that or it's just a case of staff either aren't clear what to communicate, or aren't clear on the policies/rules themselves - which indicates wider managerial issues. 

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