REWIND: From The Australian, September 1, 2000
THE Olympic Arts Festival is missing out on significant daily ticket sales by refusing to allocate empty seats to HalfTix, according the director of the discount ticketing agency, Warwick Freeman.
Freeman wrote to OAF general manager Craig Hassall and Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games director-general David Richmond on Wednesday, saying there was ‘‘ nothing to lose but empty seats’’ by releasing limited tickets to HalfTix.
His letter was sparked by an average of 40 requests a day for festival tickets at the agency’s city office, mainly from Japanese tourists. Originally SOCOG’s contracts with the presenting arts companies ruled out discounting, although this was relaxed earlier this year when ticketing responsibility moved from SOCOG to Ticketek and Ticketmaster.
‘‘ We could fill a couple of hundred seats every night, easily,’’ he says. Freeman says in the letters that arts companies that regularly use HalfTix had advised him that ‘‘ despite significant numbers of unsold seats, restrictions imposed by the Olympic Arts Festival have prevented them using our services’’.
‘‘ We have asked to be considered as a strategic option — as an adjunct, not an alternative — to the present ticketing structures,’’ Freeman wrote. But Hassall says he is ‘‘ delighted with sales so far’’ and does not plan to use HalfTix, although he would not rule out using the company in the future.