by John Stoehr
Spoleto released figures on ticket sales yesterday.
The final tally is $2.86 million in sales.
A total of 73,157 tickets were sold this year, down from 73,390 last year.
This year 70,257 tickets were in single ticket sales while 2,900 were in group sales.
In 2007, single tickets amounted to 69,690 while group sales added up to 3,700.
There's not much difference between this year and last, so fears of the recession affecting tourism and the festival may have been overestimated. Still, one can surmise that tourists and travelers made their Spoleto plans far in advance, during a time before gas began flirting with $4 per gallon. There's cause for worry in future festivals if we can't find an alternative to fossil fuels.
Along with other ebbs and flows of arts financing, Spoleto Festival USA officials predict that the organization will be in the red by the end of the fiscal year. It could be more, but for now they say the deficit will be about $292,000. It will be the first time Spoleto has run a deficit in more than a decade.